Employees Want Help To Fully Understand Their Benefits

Employees want employers to educate them throughout the year and offer tools to help them allocate their money among benefits, Voya found.

Thirty-five percent of workers say they do not fully understand any of the employee benefits they are enrolled in, Voya Financial found in a recent survey. This rises among younger workers, with 54% of Millennials saying this is the case for them.

As a result, Voya says, Americans will increasingly be turning to their employers this year for education, support and guidance.

Two-thirds of employees said they want their employer to help them understand their employee benefits throughout the year, not just at open enrollment. This jumps to 78% among Millennials.

Seventy-three percent of workers are interested in support and tools that help them figure out how much money to put aside for retirement, emergency savings and health care expenses.

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic taught many individuals that they need to be ready for the unexpected, which includes protecting themselves from unplanned health-related expenses that could deplete their emergency and retirement savings,” says Rob Grubka, president of Voya Employee Benefits. “As a result, Voya’s latest survey shows that nearly six in 10 American workers (56%) spent more time reviewing their benefits offered by their employer during the fall open enrollment period. This is good news, suggesting that many employees did not simply hit the ‘default button’ during open enrollment and likely signed up for additional workplace benefits. The challenge now in 2021—especially among younger workers, like Millennials—is providing ongoing support and education to help employees understand how to maximize their new benefit selections to address their holistic financial wellness needs.”

Andrew Frend, senior vice president of product and strategy at Voya Employee Benefits, adds: “Supplemental health benefits like accident insurance, hospital indemnity insurance and critical illness insurance can be confusing, especially for younger workers, who might have enrolled in these coverages for the first time due to the pandemic. Plus, with COVID-19 shining a spotlight on the need for greater financial security, the challenge for employers moving forward will be connecting health and wealth benefits as their employees continue to have an increasing need for budgeting, planning and guidance resources.

“Fortunately,” he continues, “benefits providers can help employers by providing robust education programs, developing engaging year-round communications campaigns and offering innovative digital tools to help their employees understand and maximize their workplace benefits.”