Benefits & The MOOD of America

Understanding the Insurance and Retirement Needs of Small-Business Owners and Employees

Compared to larger firms, access to non-medical benefits limited

April 29, 2016 — RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group today announced survey findings related to important insurance and retirement considerations for small employers and their employees.

According to the Lincoln Financial study, employees working for small businesses are generally offered fewer benefit options than those at larger organizations, underscoring the unique challenges small-business owners face when it comes
The Lincoln Financial study — Special Report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits — found that health insurance is the most common benefit offered to employees at both large and small companies, with 96 percent of all employees and 89 percent of small-business employees stating that they are offered medical coverage.

Outside of medical, however, the gap widens significantly:

  • 74 percent of employees at small businesses are offered dental insurance, compared with 91 percent of employees surveyed from organizations of all sizes;
  • 72 percent are offered a retirement plan, compared with 89 percent total;
  • 66 percent are offered vision insurance, compared with 84 percent total;
  • 62 percent are offered life insurance, compared with 81 percent total; and
  • 52 percent are offered disability insurance, compared with 74 percent of all employees.

Reality versus expectations: Benefits at small businesses

While small-business employees don’t always have access to nonmedical benefits, these products are still considered very important and not just “nice to have.”

Ninety percent of employees at small businesses say employers should offer a retirement plan. Dental, vision and life coverages are considered the most important ancillary insurance benefits — 87 percent and 83 percent of small-business employees say it’s important for their employer to offer dental and vision insurance, respectively, and 76 percent cite life as a key benefit.

“Small businesses are critical to economic growth in the U.S., making their overall success vital. That’s why it is so important that small-business owners offer attractive benefits to ensure a productive workforce and help to sustain competitiveness over time,” said Mark Konen, president of Insurance and Retirement Solutions at Lincoln Financial Group. “We realize that it is a balancing act — small employers have to mitigate costs and administrative needs so they can offer the benefits packages that bring in talent and reduce turnover.”

Almost 70 percent of employees at small businesses say that workplace benefits have influenced their decision to join a company in the past. And employers do have options that can help them strike the balance between cost — both monetary and time — and providing valued benefits. Voluntary, or employee-paid, insurance coverages could help lower costs. In addition, employers can identify insurance and retirement providers that specialize in small-business — offering products and expertise dedicated to small-market needs.

Protecting small businesses

We realize that it is a balancing act — small employers have to mitigate costs and administrative needs so they can offer the benefits packages that bring in talent and reduce turnover

In addition to taking care of their employees, small-business owners need to be prepared for unforeseen events in their own lives. More than 50 percent of small-business owners are between the ages of 50 and 851, making business continuation strategies critical for owners, their partners and their families. Life insurance can help ensure business continues in the event of a tragedy, such as the sudden passing of an owner, co-owner, or key employee.

“Small-business owners work hard to build something special. It is critical that they not only provide security for their employees but also take the necessary steps to protect themselves and preserve that hard work,” Konen said. “Lincoln Financial is committed to offering solutions and services that cater specifically to the needs of this market.”


Visit for more information about group insurance, retirement plans and individual life coverage for small businesses and small-business owners.


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 $219 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2015. Learn more at: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at
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 early February 2015, among 933 employed adults ages 22 to 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 +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence interval for the entire sample.
National Small Business Week is an annual event organized by the Small Business Administration to recognize the achievements of the top small businesses in the nation. Since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National Small Business Week will be recognized from May 1–7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York, Denver, Phoenix, Oakland and San Jose, Calif. Events throughout the week will be live-streamed on SBA’s website at Make sure to check in during the event for live social media engagement, using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz. For more information on the national events, please visit: