Workers Want Better Benefits Selection Info

September 15, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Workers want personalized guidance from their employers, and welcome more interactive information sources, a new survey found.

A MetLife news release said its 2008 Open Enrollment survey found employees are seeking more resources from employers to help them make the right decisions. Increasingly, employees are indicating that they would like greater access to benefits information, guidance and personalized support, which could allow them to conduct thorough research.

According to the announcement, when asked what their HR department could have done to make the benefits selection process easier, roughly one-quarter of employees said “Provide more information about benefits” (23%), “Present benefits information in an easier to understand format” (25%) or “Offer guidelines or instructions for ‘people like me'” (24%).

MetLife said its poll also found that t reating employees more like benefits consumers is worth the effort for employers. Employers able to effectively communicate benefits offerings and guide employees to the best decisions for their family are likely to improve their workers’ satisfaction with the Open Enrollment process. Among those workers that report having access to resources to help them make informed decisions, 82% were satisfied with their benefits offerings – compared to half (51%) of employees who stated that they didn’t get the resources they needed.

Some 79% of employees who receive interactive calculators and decision support tools say that they are extremely or very helpful – the mostly highly valued tools among employees. The vast majority (92%) of employees that received these tools were confident with their benefits decisions, almost 10% more than

The MetLife 2008 Open Enrollment Survey was conducted online February 25 – March 4, 2008 and was fielded by GfK NOP. This survey polled 1,204 full-time employees, age 21 and older, who are working full time for a company offering benefits and have at least some say in the benefits decisionmaking for their household.

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