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Employees Growing Fonder of Employer Benefits

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Employees are more satisfied with their benefits than they were two years ago..

Willis Towers Watson’s 2018 Employee and Employer Experience on a Benefit Marketplace Report found that from 2016 to 2018, overall employee satisfaction rose from 92% to 95%, and overall employer satisfaction rose 22 percentage points — from 77% to 99%.

The survey results are based on data collected during the past 18 months from more than 150 employers and 17,200 employees in the United States.

According to the survey, employees and employers increasingly understand the value of the benefits marketplace, as their experience with it strengthens over time. Employees reported increased satisfaction with the choices available on the marketplace, with scores rising by seven percentage points from 2016 to 2018. The number of employees reporting they would be more likely to continue with their current employer because of benefits programs also grew, from 72% to 78%.

“The fact we see increased satisfaction over time, as survey respondents have longer experience with the marketplace testifies its real value for employers and employees alike,” said Alan Silver, senior director of benefits delivery and administration at Willis Towers Watson. “Employer satisfaction is a result of reduced costs, simplified administration and the ability to provide more choice in benefit offerings, while employees like the support to make educated decisions and choose benefits tailored to their unique needs.”

Notable survey findings include:

  • 90% of employers said moving to a benefits marketplace has helped to simplify their benefits administration process.
  • 97% of employees preferred to choose their own benefits (rather than have their employer choose).
  • 96% of employees are satisfied with the shopping and enrollment experience.

Employers report high satisfaction across several of factors. In terms of their employees’ experience, 91% of employers agreed the decision support functionality prepared their workforce to make the right choices, while 89% said moving to the marketplace has enhanced their employees’ understanding of benefits and costs. The percentage of employers saying the marketplace helped them control costs grew 70% to 87% from 2016 to 2018, and employers also reported high satisfaction with streamlined administration and the renewal process.

Employee responses align strongly to what employers said about marketplace benefits. For example, employees said they are strongly satisfied with their ability to choose their own benefits, and 94% of renewing employees are satisfied with the benefit choices they made last year.

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