Plan sponsors are usually diligent in designing a solid benefits plan and sometimes even a thorough communication strategy for their benefits. But as many brokers and their clients have seen during and even after the recession, good plan design and standard communication just isn't enough anymore.


Benefits planning is one of those things that we often only see from one angle. When we look from another, we see more of the picture or even a different part of it that we couldn't see before. The view we're missing usually reveals a more effective and strategic benefits plan–one that saves sponsors money in the long-run, increases participation and improves employee culture.


Let's imagine two of your clients, Company A and Company B. Company B has incorporated benefits planning and they are better off than Company A. Here's what I mean:

Company A

Company B
Benefits Planning Program includes:|
  • Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation for easy participation in retirement plan.
  • Intranet full of resources and tools to calculate retirement goals.
  • Internal communication on benefits to employees at open enrollment periods, and once or twice throughout the year.
  • Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation for easy participation in retirement plan.
  • Intranet full of resources and tools to calculate retirement goals.
  • Unbiased ongoing employee education on benefits for about $10 to $20 per employee.
Today: |
  • Employees are generally unclear on their benefits with only periodic communication.
  • Low utilization of benefits employees don't understand how to apply to their lives.
  • Low workplace morale and productivity.
  • Employees opting out of auto-enrollment and auto-escalation.
  • Regular requests to HR for hardship withdrawals and loans from retirement plan
  • Employees are generally clear on their benefits with regular communication.
  • Increase in retirement plan participation by 4 percent even in a tough economy.
  • Satisfactory workplace productivity and morale.
  • Hardship withdrawals and loans from retirement plan virtually non-existent.
5 years from now |
  • High turnover and employees have misconceptions that other companies offer better benefits packages.
  • Recruiting issues because company can't compete with the benefits planning programs that other companies are now providing.
  • Facing potential lawsuits from disgruntled employees who felt the company did not do due diligence in plan design.
  • Employees unable to retire because they haven't understood how to save or manage their benefits. Younger employees can't move up the ladder.
  • Company is paying a lot of out of pocket money for employee health care.
  • Little turnover, even when other companies offer better benefits, employees are generally appreciative and loyal because company has proven to be committed to helping employees.
  • High job satisfaction and an overall healthier employee culture.
  • Culture that attracts disgruntled employees from companies like Company A.
  • Competitive advantage of obtaining more seasoned employees.
  • Employees are able to retire on time, leaving more room for career growth of younger employees.
  • Low risk for lawsuits.
  • Spending less on health care costs because employees are experiencing less stress.

Wouldn't your clients prefer to be Company B? Stay tuned next month for how you can help them create a Benefits Planning Program that makes sure they are.

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