NU Online News Service, June 11, 2003, 5:21 p.m. EDT – U.S. workers have some complaints about employer-sponsored health insurance, Mexican workers love their health benefits, and Japanese workers have neutral or negative feelings about most of the major benefits that their employers offer, according to results of a global financial well-being survey released by Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa.

Researchers compared benefits survey data for workers in the United States and 12 other countries.

When the researchers looked at satisfaction levels for eight types of employee benefits, they found that only 39% of the U.S. workers gave their health insurance ratings of 7 or higher on a 10-point scale.

Hong Kong and Japan were the only other countries included that produced the same or lower health-benefit satisfaction results.

Mexico was the country with the most popular employer-sponsored health insurance programs: 76% of the Mexican workers surveyed gave their health plans high marks.

Most benefits won high marks from at least 35% of the workers surveyed in most of the countries included in the study.

The striking exception was Japan: there, 33% of the workers gave high marks to their disability benefits, but no other benefit received high marks from more than 27% of the workers.

Only 12% of the Japanese workers were satisfied with the government-mandated company retirement plans, and only 17% were satisfied with their life insurance, private pension plans and stock options.