LONDON, 7 August 2012 – Aon Hewitt, the global human resources business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has today announced further findings from its Benefits Administration Survey 2012, which highlight the increasing popularity of flexible benefits plans among employers. The survey found that use of flexible benefits plans is both widespread and on the increase, with 62% of employers currently offering flexible benefits packages and a further 21% planning to do so in the future.
The survey examined the views of over 320 respondents from across the range of pensions and employee benefits managers, representing around one million employees.
Lorna Bradford, client director in flex administration at Aon Hewitt, said:
“Offering a flexible benefits plan has very much become the norm across a number of industries. We frequently hear from employers that the tax efficiency, positive impact on employee engagement and ability to cater for diverse needs make flex plans increasingly attractive solutions. With ongoing concerns over cost and incoming challenges resulting from implementing pensions auto-enrolment, we can only see the popularity of flexible benefits plans continuing to rise.”
Additionally, the survey revealed a preference for outsourcing the administration of flex schemes, with 60% of respondents opting to outsource the administration of flexible benefits. Encouragingly, 85% of employers that outsource administration are satisfied with the service they receive, compared to 50% for companies that manage administration in house.
Overall, the survey’s findings show that levels of concern around the administration of flexible benefits are notably low, but where there is concern, it tends to focus on cost and auto-enrolment, which respondents ranked as the two most important issues affecting flexible benefits over the next 12 months.
Lorna Bradford continued:
“With staging dates fast approaching, many employers are turning to their flex providers for help with dealing with the new requirements of auto-enrolment. It can be cost-effective for employers and providers to do this, by making use of the existing technology, infrastructure and data provided for flex administration. Our survey revealed that 35% of employers already use the same provider for both pensions and flexible benefits plan administration.”
“Pensions can no longer be considered in isolation from other benefits but have to be looked at together with other parts of the package. Employers need administrators and systems that cope with all the different aspects of benefits, without the need to input data multiple times. Employers should also consider single, online portals that can be easily used by employees and which cover the entire range of benefits. This can help facilitate more consistent corporate branding of benefits and increases the potential for greater employee engagement and satisfaction.”
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About the survey
Aon Hewitt’s Benefits Administration Survey 2012 – covering auto-enrolment and the administration of both pensions and flex plans – attracted 323 respondents, covering about one million employees and 600 pension schemes, making it a highly valuable account of the state of benefits administration today. It was undertaken using an online questionnaire in February 2012. Respondents include pensions managers, trustees, HR, compensation and benefits professionals and others.
About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions. The company partners with organisations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world's best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.