Pacific Resources’ Benefits Administration Survey Shows Large Employers Rank a Best-in-Class User Experience Higher than Cost Savings

Our survey data tells us that although employers still struggle to find the right technology partners, they are gaining more clarity on what they want from HR Technology Administration solutions and the vendors that deliver them.

A national survey of primarily Fortune 1000-ranked companies shows that cost is not the primary driver for large employers that are assessing strategic health and welfare benefits administration (BenAdmin) and HR technology platforms.

The survey, conducted by Pacific Resources, was designed to capture the current perspective on BenAdmin platforms from some of the largest employers in the United States, as the field continues to grow in both competition and complexity. Pacific Resources does not own or have a financial interest in any benefits administration technology platform. The company provides employers with independent assessment of all technology options.

“As more companies enter the HR/Benefits Administration Technology marketplace, finding the right vendor partners can be a confusing and frustrating experience for employers,” said Paul Rogers, President and COO, Pacific Resources. “Our survey data tells us that although employers still struggle to find the right technology partners, they are gaining more clarity on what they want from HR Technology Administration solutions and the vendors that deliver them.”

Key survey findings include:

1. The top outcomes employers have found in their experience with BenAdmin platforms are “best-in-class” employee user experience (49%) and the ability to integrate benefits technology with HR functions (37%).

2. Cost is no longer the driving factor when selecting a BenAdmin platform. Only 23.9% of employers cited it as most important in 2017, down from 64.4% in 2016.

3. Replacing cost as driving factors in BenAdmin platform selection are administrative ease at 61.4%, up from 38% in 2016, and empowering employees to make informed benefits decisions at 51.5%, up from 24.4% in 2016.

4. 83.2% of employers indicated that communication, employee education, and engagement are integral to their overall health & welfare benefits delivery strategy. In addition, most employers (88.8%) felt that guided decision support, cost calculators, and plan comparison tools were at least somewhat effective.

5. Outsourcing of employee eligibility and enrollment processes grew sharply in 2017, up 22 percentage points from 36% to 58%

6. Employers are confident in and rely upon technology to deliver benefits, but less than half (45.5%) say they are likely to remain with their current BenAdmin platform vendor, while 29.5% are unsure and 25% are likely to go out to bid to test the market. This may indicate a need for better technology and/or execution.

“This year’s survey shows that employers want a more holistic approach to strategic benefits delivery. They want to integrate the right products, user-friendly technology, and clear communications so they can offer the right benefits to employees and their families,” said Sean Clem, Vice President of Technology, Marketplace & Engagement Solutions, Pacific Resources.

The survey was conducted during June and July 2017. Respondents are senior human resource or benefits executives with decision-making authority from 91 organizations. The companies surveyed represent all industries. The average size of responding companies is 20,000+ employees, and total more than 2 million employees and retirees.

To download the comprehensive Executive Summary, click here.

About Pacific Resources

Pacific Resources, a part of the Brown & Brown family of insurance brokerage and related services companies, is a leading independent employee benefits advisory firm that works with Fortune-ranked and other large companies. For four decades, Pacific Resources’ evidence-based insights have shaped innovative employee benefit solutions, helping companies get the most value from their benefit plans, and positively impacting the lives of millions of employees and their families. http://www.pacresbenefits.com.

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