Fact Sheet: Government Employers
Government Company Benefit Trends

As part of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 99 government employers and 442 government employees were surveyed; key findings are:

  • Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints is a top benefits challenge for 48% of government employers. Understanding the changing health care landscape is second-largest benefits challenge for 14% of government employers.
  • 41% think it is extremely/very important to tailor benefits offerings to employees at different levels or life stages, yet only 27% of government employers do so.
  • 54% of government employees at least somewhat agree that “I would prefer not to be more in control over my health care expenses and options because I will not have the time or knowledge to do so effectively.”
  • Another 52% agree “I believe I may not adequately manage my health insurance coverage, leaving my family less protected than we currently are.”
  • 68% of government employers use a broker or benefits consultant to help determine benefits options.

Thinking of my company’s major medical/health care plans, we plan to implement the following in the coming year…

Government Company Benefits Offerings At-A-Glance

Which of the following benefits does your company offer?

The Role of Benefits in Key HR Outcomes

Talent Attraction

58% of government employees say they are likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation, but better benefits.

84% of workers say a benefits package is important to their willingness to refer a friend to their organization.

Satisfaction

A full 63% of workers at government organizations say they are extremely/very satisfied with their overall benefits package.

When employees are offered voluntary insurance they are much more likely to say their current benefits package meets their needs extremely/very well (60%), compared to those not offered voluntary insurance options (45%).

Employee Well-Being

28% of workers say their current benefits package only meets their family’s needs somewhat, and 6% say their benefits package does not meet their needs.

When asked if they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage, 52% of employees at education employers say they only somewhat agree, and 11% say they strongly/completely disagree.

Retention

23% of employees at government employers are very/extremely likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

37% say that improving their benefits package is one thing their employer could do to keep them in their job.

80% of employees agree that a well-communicated benefits program would make them less likely to leave their jobs.

Disconnects on Key Benefit Issues
Employers respond that: Employees say:
  • 59% of employers strongly/somewhat agree that “Our workers are taking full advantage of the benefits we offer.”
  • Only 74% of employees completely/strongly agree with the statement “I am taking full advantage of my employee benefits.”
  • Believes benefits are extremely or very influential on:
    Job satisfaction – 61%
    Loyalty to employer – 56%
    Willingness to refer friends – 36%
    Work productivity – 31%
    Decision to leave company – 42%
  • Believes benefits extremely or very important to:
    Job satisfaction – 79%
    Loyalty to employer – 63%
    Willingness to refer a friend – 50%
    Work productivity – 63%
    Decision to leave company – 55%
  • 38% of companies strongly/somewhat agree with the statement “our workers are not adequately informed about their benefit choices”
  • 78% of workers at least somewhat agree with the statement “I would be more informed about my benefit choices if I sat with an insurance consultant.”
  • 64% of companies strongly/somewhat agree they “effectively communicate the value of their benefits to employees.”
  • 42% of workers say their HR department communicates extremely/very effectively about benefits offered by their employer.
  • Only 2% of companies named “educating our employees about health care reform” is an important issue for their organization.
  • 71% of workers agree “I believe my employer will educate me about changes to my health care coverage as a result of the health care reform.”
  • 30% of companies named “having employees interested in purchasing voluntary benefits” as top challenge in offering voluntary benefits."
  • 54% would be likely to purchase voluntary benefits if offered.
Conclusions:

Government organizations do a good job of maintaining adequate benefits options for workers, despite the cost constraints and pressures of a down economy. When other businesses were eliminating benefits options or shifting significant copayment or premium costs onto employees, many government organizations found ways to manage rising expenses without seriously compromising worker welfare.

Along with major medical benefits, employees who work for government agencies or entities have additional options to round out their health insurance options, such as voluntary or supplemental policies that help offset out-of-pocket medical costs. Workers have the option to purchase additional coverage beyond the basics to fit their family needs.

Beyond medical plans, government organizations also provide financial savings or protection options, such as 401(k) or other retirement savings plans. Many of today’s leading companies are tailoring their benefits package to suit the varying needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. With a complex mix of four generations of workers, HR professionals at government organizations will need to develop customized strategies to meet the requirements of each segment.

Recommendations:

Consider benefits options:
There is strong evidence that a companies’ benefit program significantly influences employee attraction, engagement and retention. Many small companies are looking to self-funded benefits options, as well as supplemental insurance as low-cost solutions.

Consider comprehensive wellness programs:
Wellness programs are a useful tool to help curb escalating expenses. Particularly considering that at least one-quarter of the health care costs incurred by working adults are attributed to modifiable health risks such as tobacco use, diet, and lack of exercise.

Don’t underestimate the power of well-communicated benefits offerings:
Taking advantage of the benefits your business offers with effective communication may influence workforce retention.