Most employees said they would like their employer to provide a wider range of voluntary benefits.

The percentage of companies likely to increase the number of voluntary benefits offered in the next two years has declined to 35 percent from 47 percent, according to MetLife’s “12th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study.”

Sixty percent of the companies surveyed identify increased health care costs as a “very challenging issue.” Other issues cited as a major challenge in the next two years include:

  • Understanding the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - 49 percent;
  • Hiring the skills and talents needed – 44 percent;
  • Keeping competitive – 44 percent;
  • Retaining the skills and talents needed – 42 percent; 
  • Educating employees about the impact of health care reform – 40 percent; and
  • Managing benefits with the current level of HR resources – 37 percent.

More than half of the employees surveyed in 2013 (54 percent) said they feel very loyal to the employer. This is up from 47 percent in 2012.

Though employee loyalty has increased, fewer employers recognize the shift: 51 percent of employers surveyed in 2013 said they believed their employees were loyal to the company. This is down from 54 percent in 2012.

The percentage of employees who said they were satisfied with their job hit 55 percent in 2013. This is up from 50 percent in 2012.

More than six in 10 (64 percent) employees said last year they would like their employer to provide a wider range of voluntary benefits to purchase. This compares with 54 percent in 2012.

Similarly, 60 percent said in 2013 they were willing to bear more of the cost of their benefits so as to have a choice of benefits that meet their needs. This is up from 51 percent in 2012.

Additionally, significant percentages of employees agreed (65 percent) or strongly agreed (44 percent) last year that having benefits customized to meet their needs would increase their loyalty to their employers. These percentages are up from 61 percent and 38 percent, respectively, in 2012.