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Employers: Employees Don’t Understand Benefits

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Though employers spend a lot of money providing benefits for their employees, research shows the vast majority of them don’t think their employees really understand their benefits packages. In fact, less than 19 percent of employers think their employees have a very good understanding of their benefits, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company finds. And nearly 5 percent think their employees know nothing at all about their benefits.

But, according to latest results of Colonial Life’s ongoing post-enrollment survey, virtually all employees who participate in one-to-one benefits counseling sessions during enrollment say they have a greater understanding of the benefits their employers offer.

Of those who take part in individual benefits counseling sessions, 96 percent say they better understand their benefits. Almost half (47 percent) of employees say the benefits counseling sessions significantly improved their understanding. More than 15,000 American workers were surveyed.

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And 98 percent of employees say having annual one-to-one benefits counseling sessions is important, with 63 percent saying it’s very important.

“Today, more than ever, employers need to gain maximum value from the benefits they provide,” says Randy Horn, president & CEO of Colonial Life. “The investment made in providing a strong benefits package is lost if employees don’t understand and appreciate what they’re offered. These surveys show that personal counseling during a benefits enrollment session clearly enhances understanding, which is good news for employers and employees.” 

“Employers that provide good benefits communication and education through one-to-one counseling can feel better knowing their efforts are making a difference,” Horn says. “With an overall employee satisfaction rate of 94 percent, one-to-one benefits counseling offers employers confidence that enrollers are actually educating their work force—not simply selling products.”