Employees aren’t shouting from the roof over how great their employer-sponsored benefits are. In fact, satisfaction is sitting at some of the lowest levels since 2008, according to new data released from Unum.

According to new research from Unum, a recent survey of more than 1,500 employees shows only half of U.S. employees would rate their employer as excellent or very good. Even less than that, the 47% who were offered benefits by their employer, rated the actual benefits as excellent or very good — some of the lowest ratings for benefits the Unum has seen in recent years.

The data points to a lack of employees getting information needed on the benefits being offered. Only 33% of those surveyed who were asked to review benefits in the prior year rated the benefits education they received as excellent or very good — a drop from 2012 and reversal of the upward trend since 2009.

“Offering employees effective benefits education can contribute to satisfaction with their employer,” says Bill Dalicandro, vice president of the consumer solutions group at Unum. “Even if employees don’t have a particularly good benefits package, those who say they received quality education about the benefits they are offered are far more likely to consider their employer a very good place to work.”

Employers can also get a win when providing educational guidance in choosing the right benefits. Correlation between employee satisfaction with their benefits continues to run parallel with overall employer satisfaction.

More than three-quarters of those employees who rate their benefits package as highly also rate their employer as an excellent or very good place to work. By contrast, only 17% of employees who consider their benefits package to be fair or poor rate their workplace as excellent or very good.

Additionally 79% of employees who reviewed benefits in the past year and rated their education as excellent or very good also rate their employer as excellent or very good — compared to 30% who said the education they received was fair or poor.

The survey also found:

  • 40% of employees say they understand supplemental medical coverage somewhat or very well.
  • 47% say they understand critical illness insurance somewhat or very well
  • 48% whose employers offered long or short term disability insurance said no one explained disability insurance to them.
  • 66% agree employers should do a better job educating employees about these important benefits.

“This research underscores the value of an effective benefits education plan, because when an employee understands their benefits, they tend to value them more and in turn may then value their employers more for providing access to them,” Dalicandro adds.

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