As a benefits broker, you stay on top of the benefits landscape, including researching the top trends of 2022. But your clients aren’t as able to stay up to speed. They look to you to help guide them—and this primer can help. Share it with your clients to help them navigate 2022 with skill.
What you need to know about benefits trends for 2022
The pandemic changed how we work—and it’s also changing the benefits landscape for 2022. Here’s your cheat sheet to what employees want now (and what your competitors are doing to snap up the best talent).
1. More—and different—types of health benefits
Employees whose companies offer 10 or more health-related benefits are more likely to say they’re confident they can afford health care.1 Supplemental insurance can help your workforce build that confidence. It can also help you stay competitive: In early 2021, 57% of employers offered critical illness plans. Today, 76% of them say they plan to do so.2
2. Pet insurance
There’s a good chance that some of the individuals you’re trying to recruit live among the 23 million households that got a pet during the pandemic.3 But only 15% of employers currently offer pet insurance— leaving room for you to set yourself apart by offering pet protection.4
3. Prioritize improved work-life balance with revamped PTO policies
Time off won’t solve all of the daily struggles your employees face. But following the trend of paid parental leave and PTO policies that specifically accommodate the need for medical care can help them strike a better work-life balance. Even unlimited PTO is rising—20% of employers now offer it to at least some employees, compared with just 14% in 2018.5
4. Enrollment that helps employees better understand what you’re offering
Nearly three-quarters of your peers say their workforce understands their health care costs. But employees see it differently. Less than 60% said they actually do understand.6 With employee benefits being a differentiator that can help your clients get ahead of the Great Resignation, making benefits easier to understand could help attract the best talent.
5. Mental health solutions
A third of the workforce says their mental health has hurt their work performance.6 Supporting your employees with tools such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), virtual counseling and mindfulness programs doesn’t just help their productivity; it can help drive retention. More than 40% of employees who had strong support from their employers during the pandemic say they’re less likely to leave their jobs as a result.1
6. Child care
Nearly two-thirds of employers who already have child care benefits say they’re working to expand them.7 It’s one way to lessen the burden on working parents, particularly mothers, who have borne the brunt of child care needs during the pandemic.
7. Tuition coverage
More than half of your peers already offer help for undergraduate or graduate education.8 And with Walmart—the nation’s biggest private employer—announcing it’s made tuition free for its employees, offering tuition assistance will become a strong competitive advantage.9
Ready to help your clients get ahead in 2022? Contact your Aflac representative to learn how our products and services can help.
1 Mercer. “Health on Demand Executive Summary.” Published 2021. Accessed 9.28.2021.
2 Society for Human Resource Management. “Pandemic Highlighted Value of Voluntary Benefits.” Published 6.4.2021. Accessed 9.20.2021.
3 Pix 11. “Majority of pets acquired during pandemic remain with families: ASPCA survey.” Published 5.27.2021. Accessed 9.20.2021.
4 EBN. “Employees are demanding pet insurance benefits as Covid-19 continues.” Published 1.6.2021. Accessed 9.20.2021.
5 Mercer. “Employers revisit time-off benefits.” Published 2021. Accessed 9.28.2021.
6 2021–22 Aflac WorkForces Report: Workplace benefits trends executive summary. Accessed 11.15.2021.
7 Harvard Business Review. “The Pandemic Is Changing Employee Benefits.” Published 4.7.2021. Accessed 9.20.2021.
8 Statista. “Percent of U.S. employers offering education benefits to employees 2019.” Published 2021. Accessed 9.28.2021.
9 Employee Benefit News. “Walmart makes college tuition free for its employees.” Published 7.27.2021. Accessed 9.28.2021.
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