Workers Spend an Average 1.4 Hours Annually Reviewing Benefits

March 12, 2007 ( - The average person spends or will spend 1.4 hours reviewing their benefits packages each year and nearly half of Americans spend either no time or less than an hour, according to a recent study.

According to a company press release, the study by the Guardian Life Insurance Company found that employees say they consult a variety of sources before making any decisions about their benefits each year.

The most common way that employees sought information about their benefits was through reading employer-provided benefits literature (50%), followed by discussing choices with family members (45%); talking to their human resources department (42%) and meeting with benefit advisers (36%).

The study also revealed some fallacies employees hold about their benefits packages:

  • Almost half of the 70% of employees who say they understand the difference between group and individual coverage say they thought a physical examination was required to purchase group life insurance – which is typically not the case.
  • More than 35% of those whose employers offer disability insurance did not know how much coverage they have
  • 27% of respondents who have disability coverage didn’t know what percentage of their income is protected.
  • 24% of respondents say they believe group disability insurance is more expensive than individual policies, but most group policies are less expensive.
  • 48% of respondents don’t realize that employer-paid disability income benefits are taxable.