The M.O.O.D of America

Post Marriage-Equality Ruling, LGBT Employees Engaging More with Workplace Benefits

Individuals are proactively making changes to their benefits through the workplace in response to the historic Obergefell v. Hodges decision of 2015

June 27, 2016 — 7:47 am EST –RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group today released the first segment of results from its 2016 study of American employees, the Special Report: M.O.O.D (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits.

The study was fielded in April 2016, and uncovers working Americans’ views on a number of topics — including financial wellness, benefits understanding and enrollment, employer communications and more.

In conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the marriage equality ruling, and in recognition of Pride Month, the first set of data released relates to LGBT employees and their changing views and actions around workplace benefits.

According to the study, more than one in four (28%) LGBT employees overall, and a third (35%) of those currently married or in a domestic partnership have either reevaluated their workplace benefits, enrolled in a new benefit, or increased their contribution to an existing benefit as a result of the marriage equality ruling last year.

High impact on nonmedical

LGBT enrollments in nonmedical coverages — such as life, dental, and disability insurance — show the highest levels of change as a result of the ruling.

Fourteen percent of LGBT employees who are married or in a domestic partnership have enrolled in a new nonmedical insurance plan. Eleven percent have enrolled in a new health insurance plan, and seven percent have either enrolled in a new retirement plan or increased contributions to their current plan.

“These employees are looking at the big picture. They’re not just thinking about the most familiar benefits, such as medical insurance,” said Eric Reisenwitz, head of product and operations for Lincoln’s group benefits business. “As a result of the ruling, LGBT employees are reevaluating ancillary coverages that can help protect themselves and their families — for example, disability and life insurance. These types of benefits help employees prepare for the unexpected, giving them a better sense of overall security and financial well-being.”

Raising awareness: More to come

Although many LGBT employees are taking action in response to the ruling, not all are aware of its implications to their benefits. Fifty percent of all LGBT employees and almost 40 percent of those who are married or in a domestic partnership are not aware of ways in which the marriage equality ruling affects their workplace benefits.

These employees are looking at the big picture. They’re not just thinking about the most familiar benefits, such as medical insurance

“Many LGBT employees are engaged and taking action with their benefits, which is great to see,” said Lisa Buckingham, chief human resources officer at Lincoln Financial Group. “However, there’s still room for employers to boost these numbers. When we have a major legal change like this, employers need to proactively educate their employees on its effects. If we can help an even greater percentage of LGBT employees understand the ruling’s implications, they will be able to truly get the most value out of their benefits packages and take charge of their financial futures.”

Additional results from the Special Report: M.O.O.D (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits will be released throughout 2016. The Special Report is part of Lincoln Financial’s larger M.O.O.D. study, which is slated to launch in August.




About the Special Report: M.O.O.D. of America on Employee Benefits
Results for the Special Report: M.O.O.D. of America on Employee Benefits are based on a national survey of employees conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies (WINS) on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group. The research was conducted in April 2016 among 1,154 employed adults ages 22–69. Data shown in this report is weighted to reflect the proportion of U.S. employees by gender, age, region, race and ethnicity based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The margin of error is +/- 2.80% at the 95% confidence interval for the entire sample. For LGBT employees, the sample size is 314 and the margin of error is +/- 5.49%.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower Americans to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $220 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2016. Learn more at: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at
In January 2016, Lincoln Financial Group was recognized as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” receiving a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Learn more here.