|[November 27, 2012]
Guardian Research Findings Show Employees Increasing Reliance on Voluntary Benefits to Cover Financial Gaps
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the nation's
largest mutual life insurers and a leading
provider of employee benefits, released new research findings that
outline the important value employees continue to place on "voluntary
benefits" at the workplace to cover financial gaps within overall
benefits packages. Sixty percent of employees consider the workplace
their primary source for financial services and health protection
products, and as such, place a higher value on their overall benefits
package when it includes voluntary benefits offerings.
The offering of these voluntary products also translates into an
increase in Guardian's Benefits Value Index, which measures the degree
to which American workers value their benefits. By providing workers
with even greater access to these financial safety net benefits,
employers have a real opportunity to help improve their employees'
perceptions of their overall benefits package, which ultimately can lead
to a more engaged worker.
"As employees have increased their reliance on the workplace for
personal insurance, they have placed more of a need for additional
coverage for important health and financial protections. Our research
indicates that employers offering a wider range of voluntary benefits
options at the workplace has improved the attitudes of many workers and
how they view their employer and overall benefits package," said Elena
Wu, Vice President, Group Marketing and Learning Services at Guardian.
"As a provider of insurance benefits, it is our responsibility to help
brokers and employers better understand the significance ofvoluntary
benefits products, and provide more decision support and guidance to
educate workers on how to ensure financial security for themselves and
The Guardian survey found that nearly half of employees feel that the
workplace plays a more important role in their personal finances
compared to five years ago. The results indicate that 64 percent of
workers value the research and shopping that their employers do on their
behalf when selecting voluntary benefits, as compared to just 36 percent
who feel the insurance company brand name is most important.
Cost advantages, payment options, easier access and convenience continue
to be fundamental to the growth of workplace insurance benefits. Among
those who would like their employer to offer additional voluntary
benefits, a majority (62 percent) express interest in critical illness
insurance, such as accident and cancer products, while half are
interested in disability insurance. Not surprisingly, medical insurance,
dental insurance and vision insurance are the most widely owned products
at the workplace; however, accident insurance is the only product that
is more likely to be owned outside of the workplace.
Voluntary benefits have a positive impact on worker attitudes toward the
value of their overall benefits package. Nearly nine in 10 workers agree
that voluntary benefits add value to their benefits package, and
one-third said they are very interested in their employer offering more
voluntary benefits. More than six in 10 employers report that they offer
benefits to expand upon those already offered to their employees. And,
nearly half of all companies offer voluntary benefits to fill unmet
Benefits-related education and effective decision support will be
necessary to ensure that worker confidence translates into adequate
financial and health protection. Interestingly, more than half of
workers surveyed are highly confident in their ability to make the right
The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study can be accessed at: www.aboutemployeebenefits.com.
About the Survey
The first summary of information comes from a Guardian 2012 study on the
perceived value of employee benefits among today's working Americans,
which will become an annual benchmarking study.
This summary presents the findings from two separate Internet surveys
conducted concurrently among 1,667 benefits plan participants
("Employees") and 1,071 benefits plan sponsors ("Employers"). Plan
participant results were conducted among those age 22 or older who work
full time for a company with at least five employees. The plan sponsor
survey was conducted among employee benefits decision makers, including
business executives, business owners, human resources professionals, and
financial management professionals. The Center for Strategy Research, a
Boston-based, independent, market research firm, conducted the
interviews from May-June 2012.
A mutual insurer founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of
America and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals,
business owners and their employees with life insurance, disability
income insurance, dental insurance products, and offer funding vehicles
for 401(k) plans, annuities and other financial products. Guardian
operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and
protects more than six million employees and their families at 115,000
companies. The company has approximately 5,000 employees in the United
States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more
than 80 agencies nationwide.
For more information about Guardian, please visit: www.GuardianLife.com.
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