Multinational companies are looking to greatly gain control and oversight of the employee benefits programs on a global scale as they are trying to manage growing costs and financial risks, according to the 2012 Corporate Governance of Global Employee Benefits Study released by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc, in partnership with the American Benefits Institute.

Still, most respondents continue to allow for flexibility among their local operations to make decisions. Fewer than one-in-five respondents report feeling confident that local practices are in line with corporate guidelines, and fewer than 10 percent of respondents say they are confident that corporate controls have the power to reduce financial and operating costs and risks. 

"More and more companies want to have a better line of sight and at least some control over the benefits decisions made by their local operations," says Amol Mhatre, global benefits strategy and solutions leader at Aon Hewitt. "While financial drivers play a big role, companies want to do this for a variety of other reasons, including managing reputational risks and resource constraints on the ground. Companies that want to design more sustainable benefits programs need to implement a more formalized governance structure to manage financial and operational costs and risks."

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