Workers feel overwhelmed by open enrollment process
NEW YORK, September 17, 2019 – One-third of American workers would rather talk about their weight than their employee benefits, and nearly half dread the benefits enrollment process as much as asking for a raise, according to a new survey released today. In fact, U.S. workers say they dread the open enrollment process only marginally less than renewing their driver’s license or passport.
According to the survey sponsored by MetLife, one in five workers spend only a few minutes reviewing benefits offered by their employer before making a decision. The survey also revealed women are more likely to bring up their mental health with friends (26 percent) than discuss their finances (18 percent) or their employee benefits (20 percent).
In today’s war for top talent, employers are increasingly offering benefits that better serve their employees’ needs and help differentiate them from their competitors; yet, a knowledge gap remains. Employees are still struggling to understand which benefit options their employers offer, often overlooking helpful coverage such as legal plans and employee auto and home insurance discounts, and what traditional benefits cover, such as life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance and accident insurance. MetLife’s survey found nearly a third of respondents chose “I don’t know” when asked whether disability insurance could be used if you have a mental or emotional illness and are unable to work, while 1 in 5 of survey respondents chose only “funeral expenses” as a reason to buy life insurance.
“Employees have the unique opportunity to leverage a growing number of benefits from their employers—benefits that are specifically tailored to their needs and the needs of their families,” said Meredith Ryan-Reid, senior vice president, Group Benefits at MetLife. “But first, they need to be armed with a better understanding of how these employer-offered benefits can play a central role in protecting them against the unexpected and helping them achieve their short- and long-term financial goals.”
MetLife research revealed that learning from others’ experiences can help employees better understand how their choices connect to their overall financial wellbeing, which is critical to feeling confident and informed going into open enrollment. While these conversations with friends, family and colleagues are important to have year-round, taking action on benefits only happens once a year for most U.S. workers.
To better understand the impact benefit choices have had on others, employees across the U.S. can visit www.metlife.com/openenrollment for helpful resources, including videos, articles and the Make Your Match tool, which offers tailored benefit suggestions. By reading about and watching others discuss their life situations and the role benefits played, employees will gain knowledge that will help them make informed benefits decisions this open enrollment and that can make the difference between achieving and suspending short- and long-term goals.
This report presents the findings of a CARAVAN survey conducted by Engine among a sample of 1,004 adults comprising 502 men and 502 women 18 years of age and older. The online omnibus study is conducted twice a week among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older. This survey was live on July 18-21, 2019. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the 18+ population.
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MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (MetLife), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.