In light of tight budgets, increasing health care costs and a growing population of employees eligible for retirement, public sector employers remain focused on stability.
However, this focus is creating a delicate balancing act when it comes to meeting employees’ benefits needs.
According to the public sector findings from MetLife’s 14th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 85 percent of public sector employers, which include state and local governments, public primary and secondary schools and public colleges and universities, indicate controlling health and welfare costs is a top benefit objective. But nearly the same percentage is also focused on utilizing benefits to recruit and retain top talent.
To help find the balance, brokers play an important role in helping public sector employers rethink their benefit strategies.
Here are three ways brokers can help public sector employers build robust benefit programs that manage costs, while maintaining coverage:
No. 1: Advocate for a wide range of benefits.
Of all employees surveyed for MetLife’s 14th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, both public and private sector, more than half say they are interested in having their employer provide a wider array of non-medical benefits that they can choose to purchase and pay for on their own. Findings also show that in the public sector, employees understand that voluntary benefits can limit their out-of-pocket expenses, so it’s important to have those benefits, which can help offset healthcare costs, like critical illness, hospital indemnity and cancer insurance, included in public sector benefits offerings. Offerings that meet these needs will be most effective in recruiting, retaining and engaging employees.