Benefits Habits of Employees that We Need to Break

November 1st, 2017

 

Participants don’t review any annual enrollment materials. Employees are making or not making decisions based on little or no knowledge.

  • TIP: Employers can implement a strategic communications campaign to educate and engage employees in the format appropriate for that employee class. 

 

Employees don’t enroll in the 401(k) or don’t know what investment options to choose. U.S. employees are responsible for much of their own retirement planning and often leave money on the table if there is an employer match.

  • TIP: Employers can offer auto-enrollment up to matching amount/percent; consider partnering with a financial wellness partner; and provide regular and ongoing communications of the 401(k)’s benefits to all employees. 

 

Employees don’t engage in the wellness program. The employee is potentially missing out on the financial and personal benefits of participating in a well-being program.

  • TIP: Employers need to continuously communicate the wellness program throughout the year. Employers also should ensure the program is meeting the needs of the employees and their families. 

 

Employees don’t update ineligible dependents on the plan. Due to ambiguity where the liability would reside, either the employee or the plan could have unexpected liability.

  • TIP: Employers can require ongoing documentation of dependents and periodically conduct a dependent audit. 

 

Employees don’t review their beneficiary information regularly. Life insurance policy proceeds may not be awarded according to the employees wishes.

  • TIP: Employers can require beneficiary confirmation or updates during open enrollment. 

 

Employees do not evaluate the options for disability, whether to elect a higher benefit or have the benefit paid post tax. Disability, especially short-term, is very common during one’s working life; maximizing the benefit costs very little in terms of pay deductions, but can reap significant value when someone is unable to work.

  • TIP: Employers can provide webinars/educational session on non-medical benefits to address those needs. 

 

Employees do not take the opportunity to contribute to the health savings account. The HSA offers triple tax benefits for long-term financial security, while providing a safety net for near term medical expenses.

  • TIP: Employers can select the most administratively simple process to enroll participants in the HSA and allow for longer enrollment periods for this coverage. 

 

Employees do not use all of their vacation time. Vacation allows an employee an opportunity to recharge for the job.

  • TIP: Employers can encourage employees to use their vacation and suggest when the workload might be more accommodating to time off for those employees who worry about workloads. 

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