Benefits research 2012: Key findings

The aim of this study was to identify which benefits UK employers offer to their staff and how these are delivered.

We also wanted to find out the impact of these benefits strategies, along with the key issues and challenges that are shaping them, such as the continuing difficult economic climate and this year’s forthcoming pension reforms.

In addition, we aimed to identify key benefits decision-makers within organisations, as well as the methods employers use to communicate perks.

About the survey

• The research was conducted in March 2012 among readers of Employee Benefits magazine and users of

• The research received 403 responses.

• Respondents were drawn from all types of organisation. More than four-fifths (84%) were either privately owned or publicly quoted, while 12% hailed from the public sector.

• Just under two-thirds (62%) of respondents were from organisations with more than 500 employees, while
a quarter had over 5,000 staff.

Key findings

• The top reasons why respondents offer benefits is that they are seen as effective recruitment (79%) and retention (80%) tools.

• Improving the perceived value of the benefits package (61%) and a drive to control costs (53%) are the top challenges facing employers’ packages in 2012.

• In the next 12 months, 34% plan to renegotiate insurance-based benefits to achieve savings and 31% intend to review benefits providers to get a better deal.

• This compares with the 38% and 47%, respectively, that took these actions in response to economic changes in 2011.

• 64% of respondents offer core benefits to all employees, 27% offer perks via a flexible benefits plan, 79% provide benefits on a voluntary basis to all staff and 78% offer perks through a salary sacrifice arrangement for all employees.

• 44% of respondents introduced a new benefit in the past 12 months. Among this group, the most popular options to bring in were retail/leisure discounts (introduced by 22%) and bikes for work, which were added by 15%.

• Just under two-thirds (62%) of respondents’ benefits strategies are linked to their business strategy to some extent, while 56% say the same about their benefits strategy and HR strategy.

• Just over half (51%) of respondents say complying with pensions auto-enrolment will increase costs for their organisation.

Employee Benefits

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