New online tool helps small businesses compare benefits packages

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Financial investment management and insurance company Principal has made updates to its benefit design tool, which allows business owners to compare their packages against other employers.

Benefit managers can use the comparison tool to see how their benefits — for example life or dental insurance — stack up against other companies based on size, industry and region. The free online resource also compares retirement plan benefits, and long- and short-term disability.

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“As employers, one of the most common reasons they offer benefits — such as group disability insurance or a retirement plan —is to find good people and keep them,” says Amy Friedrich, president of U.S. Insurance Solutions at Principal. “The Principal Benefit Design Tool makes comparing benefits packages easy so business owners can focus on what they love — growing their business — and not spend a lot of time on administrative work.”

Employers are increasingly investing in benefits comparison tools to see how their packages contrast with competitors. For example, Zenefits offers a wage comparison tool that allows employers to search salaries based on industry, department, location and even demographics — like gender.

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Principal’s tool is specifically tailored for companies with less than 100 workers. It may be useful for these employers to compare their offerings with others to remain competitive in a tight labor market, the company adds.

“Especially for small employers, benefit comparison information isn’t readily available,” Friedrich adds. “The smaller the organization, the less likely they are to have staff focused on benefits. That’s why we’ve made it easy to get information they need.”

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