Study shows perceived value of life insurance benefits

American workers value life insurance benefits, but there is significant room for improvement, according to a study on workplace benefits.

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America launched the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study that reflects the degree to which American workers value their benefits, on a scale of 1 to 10. On average, workers have a score of 6.8, the study found.

On average, half of American workers reported being highly satisfied with benefits, while 42% of employers believe their workers are highly satisfied. And there appears to be agreement among workers and employers that benefit programs are not widely understood or just not meeting the needs of many workers.

The benefits value index showed that education, age and gender affect how workers feel about benefits. For example, workers who educated, older and later in life tend to score higher than their counterparts. The study also found that a larger proportion of women fall within the high index range of valuing their benefits than men.

Employer size, industry and location also are factors. Workers at larger companies tend to have more robust benefit offerings, benefits-support and employee contributions, and therefore score higher. Industries that score highly on the index include public administration and education, healthcare and finance/insurance. Industries with low scores include automotive and transportation, along with food services, where the perceived value of benefits is low.

Benefits play a critical role in employee loyalty and retention, and most employers offer benefits to keep and retain talent, the study showed.

Personalized benefits-related content can improve worker attitudes toward the value of an overall benefits package. More than 9 in 10 workers are interested in receiving personalized recommendations from insurance carriers.