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Unum Finds Holes in Benefits Education

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Employers’ education about workplace benefits has fallen off, according to a study by Harris Interactive on behalf of Unum Group Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn.

The insurer’s online survey of over 1,100 working adults found fewer employees said they had received helpful education about their benefits compared to 2008. In 2009, 29% gave their benefits education good ratings, down from 39% in 2009.

“Efforts to help employees understand their benefits apparently suffered as companies worked day-to-day to navigate unpredictable economic conditions,” said Bill Dalicandro, vice president for enrollment with Unum.

Many employees also downgraded their employers as a place to work and reported they had lower opinions of their benefits packages, Unum found.

Among employees who like the benefits education they have received, 90% percent said their employer valued their work. Similar numbers said they were happy with their job and would recommend their employer as a good place to work.

The survey found 45% employees reported they had seen changes in their benefits packages in 2009, including 31% percent who said they were paying more for benefits and 9% percent who reported losing at least one benefit.