Poll Finds Dropoff in Benefits Education Satisfaction

June 11, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Many  received less satisfactory benefits education in 2009 even though employer cutbacks and provider price hikes produced benefits package changes, a new survey has found.

A news release about the survey by Harris Interactive for Unum said 29% of the 1,106 working adults polled gave their benefits education high marks in 2009, down from 39% the year before.  Forty-five percent of employees reported they had seen changes in their benefits packages in 2009, including 31% who said they are paying more for benefits, and 9% who reported at least one benefit was discontinued.

“Our research reveals a strong connection between the quality of benefits education and employees’ perception of their workplace,” said Bill Dalicandro, vice president for enrollment with Unum, in the news release. “Quality benefits education can be a low-cost, high-impact way to affect worker satisfaction.”

The survey found:

  • Among full- or part-time employees who say they receive effective benefits education, 90% say their employer values their work.
  • 88% also say they are satisfied with their current job.
  • 88% also say they would recommend their employer as a good place to work.

“The past year brought a lot of upheaval for businesses, and efforts to help employees understand their benefits apparently suffered as companies worked day-to-day to navigate unpredictable economic conditions,” said Dalicandro. “But as the benefits landscape is shifting, it is more important than ever to give employees the right tools to understand their benefits choices and to communicate what’s available to them.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Unum from December 9 — December 11, 2009, among 2,029 adults ages 18 and older of whom 1,106 adults were employed (and not self-employed).