MetLife Study Shows Employee Retention As Top Benefit Motive

June 4, 2006 ( - More than half of employers (55%) see employee retention as the most important reason for offering benefits, a recent report by MetLife found.

The fact that retail (62%) and small employers in particular consider employee benefits as the most important retention strategy was one of the findings of MetLife’s annual Employee Benefits Benchmarking Report. Small employers are those with 50 or fewer workers.

According to MetLife, the report is meant to help employers, brokers and consultants to measure a particular company s benefits program against that of its peers, according to a press release about the report. The report is based on ab out 1,500 interviews.

Work/life balance was also ranked among their top benefits strategies, with smaller employers putting the most emphasis on it (40%), compared to 29% of large employers, or those with 25,000 employees or more. Retail employers, however, identified cost shifting to employees as their primary benefits strategy.

One-in-four small employers is also looking to add a wider array of voluntary benefits compared to approximately one-in-five employers overall.

Those working in the finance/insurance/real estate sectors are the most satisfied with their benefits, with nearly half (49%) saying that was the case, followed by 40% in manufacturing, and 19% of retail sector employees.

Medical coverage was named as the most important benefit by employees who are single, those with young families (parents of children under age six), baby boomers as well as pre-retirees. Forty-four percent of young families say they are worried about affording benefits over the next five years, compared to 24% of singles who say they are worried.

Employers in the South are more often using the Internet to administer and communicate the advantages of their benefits plans, with 59% of employers in the South doing so, compared to 52% in the Northeast, 49% in the West and 46% in the Midwest.

For a copy of the report visit .