Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes benefits research 2012

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Benefits research 2012: Key findings

Benefits research 2012: Strategy

Benefits research 2012: Responsibility and branding

Benefits research 2012: Benefits package

Benefits research 2012: Core benefits

Benefits research 2012: Voluntary benefits

Benefits research 2012: Salary sacrifice

Benefits research 2012: Flexible benefits

Benefits research 2012: Change

Benefits research 2012: International benefits

Benefits research 2012: Legislation

Benefits research 2012: Sponsor’s comment

Editor’s comment:

Our now annual benefits research has been conducted among UK-based employers since 1998, so we are able to draw on a vast data source to place current reward trends into a well-contextualised framework.

Over the past year, employers have continued to grapple with the challenges posed by ongoing economic difficulties. With recent cost-cutting initiatives still fresh in their minds, many employers are now faced with the need to make further savings. This can prove challenging if the obvious avenues for cuts have already been well-mined.

Many employers appear to be turning the screw on providers and insurers to ensure they get the best deal. This can be seen in the results of the research, which found that just under half (47%) of respondents reviewed their benefits providers to obtain a better or cheaper deal in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, 38% renegotiated their insurance-based benefits to achieve savings. These are higher figures than the percentage of respondents that expected to take such actions this time last year, when 32% said they were likely to carry out each of these initiatives.

This focus on cost-cutting and achieving the best possible value for money looks set to continue over the coming year, so it will be interesting to see what creative and innovative methods employers devise to meet further cost-cutting demands placed on budgets that are already tight.

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Debbie Lovewell

Deputy editor, Employee Benefits magazine