NU Online News Service, Aug. 15, 1:51 p.m. – Benefits administrators say face-to-face meetings are still the best way to help workers understand their benefits, according to an informal survey by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass.

MassMutual, which is trying to promote worksite sales of individual disability insurance, surveyed administrators through the Web and found that 38% agreed that meetings were the single best educational tool. The employer’s own internal Web site ranked second, at 23%, and printed brochures and directories ranked third, at 15%.

Only 6% of the administrators said the employer’s newsletter was the best educational tool.

But most administrators surveyed agreed that workers have an obvious need for benefits education.

Ninety-two percent said employees review their benefits package only when they file claims, once a year, or never. Fewer than 3% see employees reviewing benefits packages more than three times a year.

Seventy-seven percent of the administrators said the majority of employees “know enough to get by,” but 45% doubt whether employees realize that employer-sponsored group long-term disability insurance covers only a portion of their salaries.

Only 32% of the administrators said their companies offer voluntary individual disability insurance programs along with a group disability plan.