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Which employees view benefits more favorably?

In 2013, the average BVI score for American workers increased to 7.1 from 6.8 in 2012.
In 2013, the average BVI score for American workers increased to 7.1 from 6.8 in 2012.

Employees’ views of their company’s benefits package and benefits communications increased significantly last year, according to a new report.

For the second consecutive year, the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study, produced by Guardian Life, calculated a Benefits Value Index (BVI) score based on employee ratings of their company’s benefits package and benefits communications. In 2013, the average BVI score for American workers increased to 7.1 (using a scale of 1 to 10) from 6.8 in 2012.

The research adds that ratings for every item represented in the index also rose in this year’s study.

“Perhaps the turmoil surrounding the changing health care environment has led employees to value and pay more attention to the various benefits they will have in the coming year,” the report states. “Showing the strongest jump from last year’s study is how employees view the effectiveness of benefits communications. The ratings on this item jumped from 6.3 to 7.0.”

The study shows a high correlation between employees’ health and the value they place on benefits. Those who consider their health to be “very good” or “excel” have a BVI score of 7.5. This compares with 6.9 and 6.4, respectively, for those who describe their health as “good” or “fair” to “poor.”

The research notes also that healthier employees rate themselves as doing better in regard to a host of financial goals. Among them:

  • Job security (89 percent among respondents with very good or excellent health versus 82 percent of individuals with good health and 75 percent for those with fair or poor health);
  • Making ends meet (87 percent vs. 76 percent vs. 61 percent);
  • Paying off/reducing household debt (73 percent vs. 62 percent versus 52 percent);
  • Financial security in the event of a premature death (67 percent vs. 55 percent vs. 47 percent); and
  • Having financial security if a wage earner can no longer work due to a disability or serious illness (62 percent vs. 45 percent vs. 36 percent).

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