Benefits Research 2011: Key findings

The aim of this study was to find out which benefits UK employers offer to 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, including how legislation such as the forthcoming pension reforms and high earners’ pension tax changes will affect them.

We also wanted to identify key decision-makers within organisations when it comes to benefits, as well as the methods used to communicate perks.

About the survey

The research was conducted in March 2011 among readers of Employee Benefits magazine and users of

The research received 439 responses.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents were from organisations with more than 500 employees, while 28% had over 5,000 staff.

Respondents were drawn from all types of organisation. More than three-quarters (82%) were either privately owned (57%) or publicly quoted (25%). Just under one-fifth (15%) were from the public sector.

The key findings are:

  • A desire to improve employee engagement is the main issue shaping respondents’ benefits strategies in 2011, cited by 71%.
  • Increasing staff appreciation of the benefits package (66%) and increasing staff perception of the value of benefits (65%) are employers’ top priorities in the next 12 months.
  • In the last 12 months, 46% have reviewed benefits providers to get a better or cheaper deal, while 40% renegotiated insurance-based benefits to achieve savings.
  • 60% of respondents offer core benefits to all employees, 72% provide benefits on a voluntary basis to all staff, 82% offer benefits through a salary sacrifice arrangement for all employees and 25% offer benefits through a flexible benefits plan.
  • Just under half (45%) of respondents have introduced a new benefit in the past 12 months. Among this group, the most popular options to introduce were retail/leisure discounts (introduced by 32%) and bikes for work, which were introduced by 25%.
  • Just under two-thirds (64%) say complying with the 2012 pension reforms will increase costs for their organisation. Of these, 42% intend to absorb increased costs within other areas of the business, while 23% say they will introduce a salary sacrifice arrangement around pension contributions.

Flex Research

Read more articles from the Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes Benefits Research 2010