– Online Tool Provides Customized Analysis of Benefits Trends Across Multiple Employee Demographics and Employer Traits –

MetLife, a leading provider of employee benefits, announced the introduction of its 2008 Web-based Benefits Benchmarking Tool. The MetLife Benefits Benchmarking Tool enables employers and brokers to quickly compare and contrast relevant benefits offerings and objectives through customized queries in 35 areas. The enhanced Tool adds a number of additional demographic segments across which the data can be sorted, including an employee’s household income, generation and life stage, and provides deeper looks into topical subject areas such as wellness programs and retiree benefits.

"Employers are increasingly viewing employee benefits programs as strategic differentiators because they can help employers address employee loyalty, satisfaction and retention goals. Companies and brokers that are well informed about benefits trends across various industries, geographies and demographics – and how theirs or their clients’ benefits programs compare – are better positioned to develop competitive and effective programs that attain their business objectives," said Anthony J. Nugent, senior vice president, MetLife Employee Benefits Sales.

The MetLife Benefits Benchmarking Tool quickly provides detail-rich data in an easy-to-use, online format. Users can select, view, and download benefits data as it relates to specific marketplace situations as their interests dictate. The Benefits Benchmarking Tool groups benefits topics by key marketplace trends to help users more effectively identify and focus their benchmarking analysis. Topics include benefits objectives, strategies and offerings; communications and decision making; employee retention and loyalty goals; retirement and the aging workforce; and health and wellness. The complimentary tool is available at

"With the diversity of employee populations and their respective employers, a one-size-fits-all benefits program can be ineffective and inefficient for addressing employers’ top two benefits objectives – employee retention and cost control. By increasing the level of customization the Benefits Benchmarking Tool can provide, MetLife makes it easier for employers and brokers to identify benefits solutions for their unique needs," adds Nugent.

Users who compare and contrast the data along multiple variables can find surprising results in the details. As examples, by analyzing the data across different topics and demographics, the MetLife Benefits Benchmarking Tool reveals the following:

The way to younger workers’ hearts may be through their teeth.

  • While dental insurance ranks as the fifth most important benefit among all employees, it is the second most important benefit among young singles (ages 21 through 34). Among these younger workers, dental benefits are valued slightly more than vacation time.
  • On the other hand, younger workers are nearly twice as likely to switch employers as their older colleagues. (Gen Y workers are more professionally mobile, with 40% of them planning to move on to other employers within the next 18 months, compared to 23% of Baby Boomers).
  • Employers trying to attract and retain these younger workers may want to take a closer look at this demographic’s benefits preferences.

Employee benefits Web sites appeal to diverse industries.

  • Both manufacturing employers and educational institutions are the most likely industries to offer an employee benefits Web site – with 61% of these two industries providing sites compared to 53% of employers across all industries. In contrast, legal, engineering, accounting, and retail employers are below this figure, with only 41% providing benefits Web sites to employees.
  • Interestingly, both manufacturing and education employers cite cost control as their top benefits objective, and on-line capabilities may be seen as a way to streamline operations. On the other hand, legal, engineering, accounting and retail employers say their top benefits objective is employee retention.
  • Employee benefits Web sites can be strategically designed to help achieve both cost control and retention objectives.

Employee loyalty factors differ depending on size of employer.

  • Workers at the smallest firms (those with less than 50 employees) say that the top three factors affecting their loyalty towards their employer are 1) salary/wages, 2) health benefits and 3) advancement opportunities. For workers at the largest companies (those with 10,000 plus employees), their primary loyalty drivers are 1) salary/wages, 2) health benefits and 3) retirement benefits.
  • The Benefits Benchmarking Tool reveals an employer misperception about key drivers of employee loyalty. For example, while small employers (less than 50 workers) thought that salary/wages was number one, they indicated company culture was slightly more important than health benefits. The largest employers, on the other hand, are not recognizing the importance their employees place on retirement benefits. These employers did not indicate retirement benefits among the three most important loyalty drivers. Instead, advancement opportunities were thought to be more important.
  • By better understanding the drivers of employee loyalty, employers of all sizes can more strategically optimize their benefits offerings.

About the Data 
The MetLife Benefits Benchmarking Tool uses as its underlying data the 6th annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends and the MetLife 2008 Open Enrollment Study. The MetLife Employee Benefits Trends Study is a comprehensive survey that was conducted during the third quarter of 2007 and consisted of two distinct studies fielded by GfK Custom Research North America. The employer survey comprised 1,652 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies spanning a broad range of industries, sizes and geographic locations. The employee survey polled 1,380 full-time employees, age 21 and over, at companies with at least two employees. Employee data are weighted to reflect the total U.S. working population, excluding those who are self-employed.

The MetLife 2008 Open Enrollment Study includes results from a survey of 1,204 employees, conducted online during the first quarter 2008. Fielded by GfK Custom Research North America, the survey is based on responses from a broad cross section of employees, age 21 and older, who are working full-time for a company offering benefits and have at least some say in benefits decision-making for their household.

About MetLife 
Celebrating 140 years, MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit


Karen Eldred
Joseph Madden