COLUMBIA, S.C., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Do employees know the true value of their benefits packages? Most likely they don't. Benefits statements can help employees better understand their benefits and help employers get more recognition for one of their biggest investments.
Current estimates show that benefits comprise 30 to 40 percent of an employee's total compensation package. Yet most employees don't have any idea how valuable their benefits are as part of their overall compensation.
"A solid benefits package is a plus—but only if employees know and understand what their employer makes available to them," says Marianne Adams, assistant vice president of enrollment services at Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. "Benefits statements are helping many employers today get greater value from the benefits they provide."
Many employers find benefits statements an important education tool.
To help employees better understand their benefits and the rapidly changing benefits landscape, many employers are now strengthening their benefits education efforts. One tool they're turning to is benefits statements. Benefits statements offer a snapshot of an employee's total compensation, including a list of benefits for which the employer pays all or part of the cost. By listing standard benefits such as health coverage and life insurance, as well as vacation time, parking, wellness center memberships and any voluntary benefits offered, these statements help employees see their "hidden paychecks." They can then clearly see the dollar value of their salary as well as all of the benefits that comprise their total compensation package.
Employers feel workers don't understand their benefits.
"Too many employees today don't really understand their benefits packages," says Adams. "Therefore, they have no idea how much their benefits are worth or don't consider their value when looking at their total compensation."
The perception among employers is that their workforce knows very little about their benefits. In fact, less than 19 percent of employers think their employees have a very good understanding of their benefits. And nearly 5 percent think their employees know nothing at all about their benefits.(1)
A recent Harvard Business Review survey sponsored by Unum points out the need for improved benefits communication. In a just-released survey of HR leaders, 43 percent say their employees are satisfied with their benefits, but considerably fewer (30 percent) say the same about their benefits communication.(2) In fact, 23 percent of them say their employees view their benefits communication as weak.
"Employers find benefits statements tremendously valuable in helping their employees better understand and appreciate everything they provide," says Adams. "We strongly encourage companies to take advantage of benefits statements, which are even provided at no cost by some carriers. Benefits statements are just one tool that can help employers with the increasingly important task of benefits education and communication"
About Colonial Life
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing insurance benefits for employees and their families through their workplace, along with individual benefits education, advanced yet simple-to-use enrollment technology and quality personal service. Colonial Life offers disability, life and supplemental accident and health insurance policies in 49 states, the District of Columbia. Similar policies, if approved, are underwritten in New York by a Colonial Life affiliate, The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, Worcester, Mass. Colonial Life is based in Columbia, S.C., and is a subsidiary of Unum Group, one of the world's leading providers of employee benefits.
For more information about voluntary benefits, call Colonial Life at (803) 798-7000 or visit www.coloniallife.com.
(1) Colonial Life, SHRM National Conference Survey, July 2009.
(2) Unum/Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, June 2010.
SOURCE Colonial Life