UK and Nordics Lead Way on Employer-Paid Benefits
30 May 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) - Employers in the UK and the Nordics lead the way in offering employer-paid benefits, according to a Europe-wide survey from Mercer.
The survey shows that employer-paid benefit choice is most common among respondents from the UK (48%), followed by Sweden (44%), the Nordic countries (39%), Denmark (38%), the Netherlands (37%), Spain (35%) and Germany (28%). Meanwhile it is less common in France (13%), where legal and tax issues pose significant challenges, and in Italy (5%), where employee choice is in its infancy.
Overall a third (32%) said they already offered some form of choice in employer-paid benefits, with an additional 30% providing employees with the opportunity to purchase one or more voluntary benefits. And of those not offering choice currently, roughly two-thirds is seriously considering doing so.
Kim Honess, Mercer’s UK Head of Flexible Benefits, commented on this encouraging trend: “As the flexible benefits market has grown, one of the major attractions has been the ability of employee choice programmes to generate savings for the organisation while controlling the annual spend on benefits. There are a range of flexible benefits which attract no tax or national income contribution liabilities.”