More Than Half of Workers Prefer to Enroll Online for Benefits

October 27, 2011 ( - The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America released new research showing that 62% of workers now enroll online for their employee benefits, compared to only 29% in 2005. 

In the past year alone, the use of online benefits enrollment increased by eight percentage points, which represents a significant shift in how employees learn about, evaluate and interact with their benefits programs.

The study also offers generational insights regarding employee preferences related to benefit platforms. While Millennials are generally perceived as the generation that would overwhelmingly prefer to evaluate benefit offerings through online platforms, in effect, a majority of all workers (54%) indicated that a consolidated Web portal would help employees appreciate the value of available benefits more effectively.

“Our research indicates a substantial shift in attitudes, needs, and technology behaviors among all generations of workers. As such, employers are beginning to adapt to these changing dynamics by offering benefit packages through online interfaces that streamline the learning and evaluation process for all of their workers,” said Elena Wu, Vice President, Group Insurance for Guardian, in a press release.

Given the complexity of benefits evaluation and the identification of the most appropriate offerings, employees have expressed a strong need for simplification. A majority of workers (56%), irrespective of age or educational level, believe a single, consolidated Web-based platform that integrates all of their benefits allows them to better comprehend and consider their insurance options, make selections and appreciate the value of benefits available to them.

Additional key findings include:

•  In general, workers prefer online enrollment over an offline or a paper process. Nine out of 10 workers surveyed (91%) rate their online enrollment experience as “very easy” compared to 78% of those using paper.

•  Employees cite the following top reasons for preferring online benefits enrollment:

            – Convenience (89%)

            –  Time savings (85%)

            –  Good for the environment (78%)

•  Sixty percent of both Millennial and Gen X respondents indicated that a consolidated benefits web portal would improve employees’ ability to better appreciate the value of available benefits.


The Benefits & Behavior 2011: Spotlight on Enrollment Trends presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted from August 25-27, 2011, among a national probability sample of 2,000 adults. 

The full research study can be viewed in its entirety at