One in three employers outsource all of their benefits administration, up 20 percent since 2013
NEW YORK, N.Y., January 20, 2016 — The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced new findings from the third annual Guardian Workplace Benefits StudySM that outlines how one in three employers now outsource all of their benefits administration, up 20 percent since 2013.
Employers are also using more vendors for support: nearly two-thirds that outsource at least some benefits administration are using multiple vendors, up from 48 percent in 2013. As employers of all sizes realize the need to improve efficiency; keep compliant with requirements of the ACA, FMLA and ADA; and improve employees’ benefits enrollment experience, they will need to rely more heavily on external expertise to meet their goals.
The study signals future growth in outsourcing management of employee absences as employers emphasize the need to increase employee productivity, adhere to FMLA, ADA, and ADAA requirements, expand wellness initiatives, and provide more assistance for employees returning to work following a disability.
As of now, only half believe their company is very effective in tracking and managing employee leave, including FMLA, disability and other paid-time off. Companies with 100 or more employees who more commonly outsource leave management are also more likely to report they are effectively tracking leaves compared to smaller companies.
Nearly two-thirds of employers report outsourcing aspects of their enrollment process, with the most popular activities related to tasks including preparing enrollment materials (49 percent) and presenting at enrollment meetings (48 percent).
Unfortunately, less are inclined (31 percent) to outsource the development of their overall enrollment strategy. Having a decentralized approach lessens the effectiveness around enrollment activities. It will best suit employers to outsource enrollment strategies to integrate services which support employee decision-making.
“As emerging technology and specialized expertise increasingly become available in the market, employers and HR decision makers should embrace these offerings for advantages that go beyond addressing administration complexities,” says Ray Marra, Senior Vice President, Group Products at Guardian.
“Our study shows utilizing outside expertise can offer opportunities for companies to transform their benefits package and offer a broader range of employee benefits and related services.”
For more information about Guardian’s Workplace Benefits or to obtain a copy of The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study SM: Third Annual, please visit here. An infographic outlining why employers are increasingly outsourcing employee benefits administration can be found here.