The Employee Benefits Research 2009: contents & key findings

bb_2009Research: benefits strategy
Research: evaluation of and attitudes to benefits
Research: responsibility for and communication of benefits
Research: how benefits are offered
Research: core benefits offered
Research: voluntary benefits
Research: tax-efficient benefits and salary sacrifice
Research: flexible benefits
Research: changes to employee benefits
Benefits Book 2009: Editor’s Comment

Download a PDF version of the Employee Benefits Research 2009

Note: the pdf contains 21 pages and includes all the research. The remaining pages in the print version of The Benefits Book is a directory of suppliers. These suppliers have been put online in our ‘suppliers directory’ – see link below.

Find benefits and reward suppliers

The aim of this study was to find out which benefits UK employers offer their staff and how these are delivered. We wanted to find out the impact of the benefits strategies employers use and the issues that shape them, such as what employers are doing to weather the recession. We also wanted to identify the key decision-makers within organisations when it comes to benefits, as well as the key methods used to communicate perks and the effectiveness of these.

Key findings:

  • 64% of respondents offer a core benefits package, 19% provide a flexible benefits scheme, 64% a voluntary benefits plan and 71% perks through a salary sacrifice arrangement to all staff.
  • In response to the recession, 43% plan to motivate employees to maintain morale and 33% intend to review benefits providers in order to get a cheaper or better deal.
  • Increasing employee engagement (by 62%) and communication to increase staff perception of benefits (by 54%), are respondents’ top two priorities in the next 12 months.
  • More than one-fifth (21%) believe they offer an upper-quartile benefits package within their sector, and 16% claim they fall into the lower quartile.
  • Just 39% of respondents evaluate the effectiveness of their benefits strategy.
  • 79% of respondents believe their benefits package provides value for money and 70% say it reflects their employer brand.
  • Managing pay and benefits costs is, to some extent, the biggest issue currently faced by employers, cited by 64% of respondents. The next biggest issue is attracting/recruiting key talent (61%).
  • The most popular method of communicating benefits is at induction meetings for new joiners, which is offered by 78%, while leaflets, brochures or booklets are the most common way of communicating pension schemes (76%).
  • Training and development, and life assurance/death-in-service are the top perks offered to all staff on a core basis, by 73% and 72% of respondents, respectively.
  • Just under half (45%) of respondents have made changes to their benefits package in the past year.

About the survey

The research was conducted during January 2009 among readers of Employee Benefits magazine and users of The research received 639 responses.

Over half (52%) were from organisations with more than 1,000 staff, while 26% had more than 5,000 staff.

Respondents were drawn from all types of organisation, just over twothirds were privately owned (52%) or publicly quoted (24%). A fifth were from the public sector.