METLIFE STUDY SHOWS KNOWLEDGE GAP ABOUT WORKPLACE BENEFITS SPANS INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING FINANCIAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES
NEW YORK, June 03, 2008
When it comes to preparing for retirement, many financial services employees fare little or no better than their peers in other industries – even though on average, they make more than employees in most other industries, according to a new industry profile released today by MetLife. More than half (54%) of financial services employees surveyed say they are behind schedule for achieving their retirement financial goals, which is below the average of 47% for employees across all industries. Only about one-third of employees (30%) in this industry say they are on track regarding their retirement savings goals. Despite higher than average levels of compensation, employees in the financial services industry – encompassing finance, insurance, and real estate – have similar levels of coverage for basic financial protection coverage – such as life and disability insurance – as those of workers in other industries.
"These findings highlight a tremendous opportunity for employers. Human capital is arguably the greatest asset of financial services employers, and retention, therefore, is a high priority. Employee retention is linked with benefits satisfaction. For employers to realize the full retention value inherent in offering a comprehensive set of benefits, their employees must understand and appreciate what they receive," said Randy Stram, vice president, MetLife Institutional Business.
"This study demonstrates that financial services industry employees’ familiarity with financial products and services does not necessarily equate to an understanding of workplace benefits and personal financial needs. Employers have the ability to create more potential retention power by bridging employees’ knowledge gap around their benefits," added Stram.
For an industry challenged with providing valued workplace benefits to a diverse working population – comprised of employees of a wide range of ages and salaries as well as income structures (hourly, salaried, part-time, consultant, commissioned) – MetLife’s What Financial Services Companies Can Do to Stand Out in a Competitive Talent Market: Innovative Employee Benefits Solutions for the Financial Services Industry offers practical solutions that can help financial services employers attempt to achieve their top benefits objective, employee retention, by improving employees’ knowledge of, and satisfaction with, their workplace benefits.
MetLife research found that:
- Fewer than half of surveyed financial services employees are confident that they can articulate the difference between worker’s compensation coverage and disability income insurance.
- One in four admits knowing little or nothing about long term disability insurance protection and term life insurance – two of the more common workplace benefits.
- Sixty-one percent of employees surveyed are unfamiliar with variable universal life, almost half (48%) are unfamiliar with long-term care insurance and 29% are unfamiliar with accidental death and dismemberment policies.
Needing the Basics
Many lower-income or entry-level employees in this sector are still missing key components of a strong financial safety net. MetLife research reveals that over 40% of employees making under $50,000 a year in the financial services industry do not have disability insurance, while 34% of these employees do not have term life insurance. Additionally, 10% of these employees are unsure whether they own disability insurance, and 17% are unsure whether they own term life coverage.
Those Who Make More Need More
On the other hand, highly compensated employees should be considering additional financial protection to cover themselves, their families and their accumulated assets. An unexpected critical illness or need for long-term care services can impact years of savings – and anticipated retirement plans – if individuals have not created a strong personal financial safety net. MetLife research reveals, however, that over 35% of financial services employees making over $100,000 have not considered annuities in order to provide income in retirement; 45% of these employees have not evaluated the costs of long-term care for elderly parents or spouses; and nearly half (45%) have not discussed how they will afford medical care in retirement with a financial professional.
"For financial services employers, employee retention is the top benefits objective. Offering a benefits program that can be customized to meet the needs of a diverse workforce delivers greater value to employees and their families and helps employers optimize the success of meeting business objectives," adds Mr. Stram.
About the Study
Research findings contained in the white paper are primarily from the MetLife Poll of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Employees conducted in December 2007 and fielded by Gfk NOP. The research polled 500 full-time employees ages 21 and older.
The 6th annual MetLife Employee Benefits Trends Study conducted during the third quarter of 2007 and consisting of two distinct studies fielded by GfK NOP. The employee survey polled 1,202 full-time employees, age 21 and older, including a mix of men and women drawn from a diverse pool of ethnic backgrounds, at companies with at least two employees. The employer survey consisted of 1,514 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies with a minimum of two employees, representing a mix of industries and geographic regions.
A complimentary copy of What Financial Services Companies Can Do to Stand Out in a Competitive Talent Market: Innovative Employee Benefits Solutions for the Financial Services Industry is available at www.whymetlife.com.
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 www.metlife.com.