Employees show a preference for ‘safety net’ products.
  • Workplace pensions voted the most valued benefits overall
  • Private medical insurance second most valued, life insurance voted third
  • Benefits employees value vary by age and industry, not by company size
  • Overall, employer perceptions of the benefits their employees would value, did match what employees themselves said, showing employers are in touch with employee needs


The research, conducted by group risk insurer Ellipse in August of this year, surveyed 1,150 employees and 1,001 employers across the UK to understand the benefits they would value most.


Of 14 employee benefits listed, employees voted a workplace pension as their most valued benefit, with 58% selecting it in their top three. Private medical insurance follows this with 21%, then life insurance (20%), dental insurance (14%) and gym memberships (13%).


The research also explored the perceptions of employers, by asking them what they thought their employees would value most. A workplace pension was again the most valued benefit, followed by private medical insurance. Life insurance, childcare vouchers and a retail/leisure discount scheme, also made the employer’s top five.


Workplace pensions comes out on top

Ellipse Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Morgan said, “With access to workplace pensions improving with auto-enrolment, it’s good to see that employees clearly value this important benefit. Preference for life and health cover over the everyday, more immediate benefits, also shows that employees value the safety net that these products provide.”


The benefits valued less by employees included financial education and advice at 4%. Cycle to work schemes (4%), employee assistance programmes (5%) and health cash plans (7%). Only 7% of employees said they don’t value benefits at all.


With the exception of workplace pensions, employees’ preferences are spread across a range of benefits. This reflects the diverse needs of employees, with age and industry sector creating noticeable differences in preferences. The size of the company had little impact on preferences.


Morgan said “Benefit preferences vary significantly by industry, reflecting demographics and job demands. Employers should be mindful of this when designing a benefit programme for their specific workforce. A one size fits all approach will fall short.”


Click here to read the full research report.

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