The number of UK companies offering flexible benefit plans to employees is on the increase as firms recognise the current economic climate and employees are given more responsibility for their own benefit provision, Aon Hewitt said today.
30 MAY 2012 | THE ACTUARY NEWSDESK: NICK MANN
According to the human resources consultancy's Employee Benefits and Trends Survey published earlier this year, 70% of companies surveyed in 2011 were either using or about to introduce flexible benefit plans, which offer features such as health insurance and additional pension contributions.
Martha How, principal consultant at Aon Hewitt, said the increased appetite for flexible benefit plans, also known as flex, was part of a permanent shift in the way employers deliver employee benefits.
'The introduction of pensions auto-enrolment later this year sees a shift in the relationship between employers, employees and benefits - with employees having to take more responsibility for their pension provision. A move towards flex is a natural extension of this increased employee engagement with benefits.'
Aon Hewitt's research also found that 82% of companies which have already implemented flexible benefit schemes believe their employees are particularly satisfied with the quality of benefits provided. The vast majority (80%) also believe they have had a positive effect in improving employee retention and recruitment, while 66% said it had improved employee engagement.
Ms How said the results of the survey showed how important it was for employers to regularly review the benefits they offer, and for employees to regularly review the benefits they chose. Doing so would ensure the benefits package continues to work for both employer and employee in the long term.