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The top 10 employee benefits in 2014

The Benefits Research 2014 report has revealed which employee benefits companies currently judge to be most important.

256 benefits professionals were surveyed in March 2014 for the research by Employee Benefits. The results, published in May, have revealed the top ten most popular core employee benefits that are offered to all staff.

10. Retail or leisure discounts – 26% Leveraging business buying power can mean employees enjoy savings on things they enjoy, from restaurants to family days out to high street shops. This benefit can promote the importance of taking personal time, which is good for morale.

9. Private medical insurance for the employee – 31% Ensuring staff can access high quality medical care whenever they need it, private company medical insurance can reduce absences, reduce presenteeism, improve productivity and boost morale – with obvious advantages to the employer. Although 31% offer PMI to all staff, an additional 49% offer it to some staff – perhaps the longest serving or most senior – making this one of the most popular benefits overall.

8. Season ticket travel loan – 32% A tax efficient benefit, a travel season ticket loan is attractive to commuters, and can also help the environment by promoting the use of public transport.

7. Income protection – 34% Group income protection provides employees with the reassurance that they will be able to keep their heads above water if long term illness or injury should strike.

6. AVCs – 35% Setting up a scheme to allow employees to make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to their pension gives staff more control, enabling them to prepare for a comfortable retirement by increasing their income.

5. Group pension plan – 44% Almost half of the employers surveyed offer a group personal pension plan where payments are taken from salary.

4. Extra holidays for longer service – 51% Rewarding long service can improve staff retention, while also encouraging these hard working employees to take a break they have truly earned.

3. Life insurance – 77% Also known as death in service, group life cover is a highly valued employee benefit to those with dependants.

2. Employee Assistance Programmes – 80% An astonishing 4 out of 5 respondents offer an EAP – of course, this benefit has advantages for the employer too as it can reduce stress and absences.

1. Pension – 89% This includes all types of pension. Following the introduction of auto-enrolment in 2012, workplace pensions are now compulsory for the majority of businesses.

The importance of health

Employee benefits are of course renowned as a great tool for recruitment and retention. Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals found that a massive 74% of respondents were more likely to stay at a company that offers great benefits. More importantly however, 80% of survey respondents agreed with the statement, “the healthier you are, the more productive you are.”

Indeed, health benefits could be perceived as those with the most advantages for both employer and employee. Although any benefits will improve staff morale, private company medical insurance has the added attraction that it could also reduce absences and improve productivity.

Choosing the right benefits

As the results of the Benefits Research 2014 show, the approach businesses take to employee benefits is varied, and could depend on several factors such as size of workforce, available budget, type of work, and the desired effect of the benefits.

Nobody can offer all the benefits under the sun. Instead it’s important to put together a concise and effective package that is beneficial to the business and attractive to the employee.

If you would like to discuss your employee benefits package, contact the experts at Chase Templeton.