No surprise, the pandemic (and the Delta variant) are top factors for the benefits employees want in 2021, according to a new study from Haven Life
Open registration and global pandemics – if there are two more nice conversation starters out there, we can not think of them.
Ok, that's not really true, but they are indisputably important and they will affect each other again this year. As early as 2020, the COVID pandemic was still relatively new and there were high hopes that vaccinations and herd immunity would help us cope with everything. Here in 2021, pandemic life no longer feels unfamiliar, and the reality check called the Delta variant (not to mention a disappointment against vaccination doubts) ensures that we only become more accustomed to it in the coming months.
Take it all together, and it's no surprise that 71% of workers in a new Haven Life survey expressed concern about the variant. In addition, 45% of those surveyed said that the variant would affect their choice of benefits this year. (Given that this survey took place when the variant was still starting in the US, it is likely that these figures would be even higher now.)
So what do employees specifically want from their employers, in terms of benefits and in terms of the open notification process ? And if you are able to change the open enrollment and benefits in your workplace, what do you need to know? Our survey results show you the way.
In this article:
Workers want more
In the Haven Life survey, 14% of employees said they plan to buy more coverage this season compared to their previous pandemic coverage selected in 2019. (On the same 13% plan to buy more this season compared to their mid-pandemic coverage chosen in 2020.) It may not sound like much, but believe that most people are already getting as much coverage as they think they need, and it is convincing that so many people want even more this year.
Workers want mental health and financial health benefits
Suffice it to say that the last 17 months or so have taken a huge toll on our mental and financial health. No wonder that as many as 74% of the respondents said that mental considerations are a factor in their benefit planning. What specifically do they have in mind (so to speak)? Here is what they said would benefit their mental health:
- Increased pension contributions (50%)
- One month's sabbatical after five years of employment (42%)
- Flexible summer schedules (34%)
- Compensation or support for student loans (27%)
- A travel scholarship (19%)
In a competitive labor market – one with a record 10 million open jobs – employers would be wise to focus on offering these types of benefits to current and future employees.
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Workers want clarity
It is difficult to know what you want if you do not know what your options are. Given that almost two-thirds of employees (65%) say they trust their HR team to get this kind of information, it is worrying that most employees (51%) say they do not or only "something" "understand their benefits, how do I register, or what is covered.
Takeaway for employees? Never hesitate to ask for further clarification. It can really help your employees too. And clearly, companies need to be more, well, clear when explaining benefits to their workers.
Workers Want Affordable Prices
While this is hardly surprising – who wants to pay more for anything, let alone something as potentially expensive as your benefits? – it is still worth noting that while 45% of workers surveyed said they should spend less than 10% of their pay on benefits, 59% said they currently spend more than that amount.
This is largely out of control for employees, but again, anything an employer can do to reduce their employees' out-of-pocket costs would make their workplace more attractive to those who do (or perhaps) work there.
Most workers (51%) say they do not do it or only "something" understands their benefits, how to register or what is covered.
Workers want what they want – nothing more, nothing less
While no one wants to deal with the hassle of wading through irrelevant benefits options, more than a third of respondents (37%) said their company offers too few benefits. This means that while three quarters of those surveyed expect to have roughly the same options as they had last year, respondents are hoping for an expanded menu of options. (Probably this would include some of the extra mental and financial health benefits mentioned above.)
Workers want wage protection …
Ok, they did not put it exactly that way. But 42% of workers surveyed said they would have more peace of mind if they knew their loved ones would receive a recurring payment equal to their monthly paycheck over a period of time – and that this would reassure them more than a traditional one-off insurance for life insurance.
Good news: There's something exactly like that, and it's called wage protection, and Haven Life started offering it to employers last fall. It does not require a medical examination and pays the beneficiary an amount equal to the policyholder's salary for at least five years if the unexpected occurs. If you or your company may be interested, you can learn more about this.
Do you want to offer your employees salary protection? Email Wade Seward or JR Hernandez from our Haven Life partnership team.
About Louis Wilson
Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a number of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men's fashion and grooming and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.
Read more by Louis Wilson
Our Editorial Policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigation decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly easy.
Our Editorial Policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance company supported and owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigation decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly easy.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult their own taxes or attorneys.
Haven Term is a life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and is offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a simplified life insurance policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Insurance numbers and equestrian form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency's license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
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