Slideshow 10 big trends in benefits technology spending

Published
  • October 18 2016, 11:24am EDT
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Survey overview

The 2016 Employee Benefit News Tech Survey, in its third year, was conducted in August by Sourcemedia Research to identify technology trends. In total, 259 professionals responded to the online poll. Most are highly (47%) or moderately (31%) involved in benefits technology purchasing plans. Here are 10 big findings about benefits technology from the survey.

Tech spending is increasing

More than 90% of respondents said they spent as much or more on technology this year as they did in 2015.

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Few plan to decreased tech spending

Less than 10% of respondents reported that they decreased benefits technology spending this year.

Budgets are significant

Five percent plan to spend as much as $1 million; 5% more plan to spend $250,000 to $499,999 and 10% percent plan to spend $100,000 to $249,000.

3 major areas eyed for spending

The top areas planned for additional spending include enrollment technology (51%), benefits administration systems (47%) and employee benefits portals (37%).

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Wellness tech also growing

Employers are increasingly spending more money on wellness efforts. One in four respondents say they will spend money on wellness tracking/analytics, while 15% said they will spend money on wellness apps and 13% on wearable wellness devices.

Some tech areas to see overhaul

Many respondents said they were thinking of changing or replacing next year their benefits enrollment system (25%), benefits administration system (21%), employee benefits portals (15%), voluntary enrollment systems (12%) and wellness enrollment and employee benefits analytics (11% each).

Employee services spurs spending

Benefit technology decisions are largely driven by a desire to help employees enroll in, use and monitor their benefits (nearly 52%) and help the company gain greater control or oversight of its benefits package. Another objective is to help control benefit costs (nearly 11%).

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Applications moving rapidly into the cloud

Nearly half of respondents said their benefits applications are hosted in the cloud.

Big name vendors are being embraced

When asked to list the top technology vendors, respondents cited many familiar names. They include ADP, Benefitfocus, Benetrac, bswift, Enrollease, Fidelity, Lawson, Liazon, Mercer, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Willis Towers Watson and Xerox.

Tech satisfaction is high

Satisfaction was high across several categories, according to the survey. Most respondents were satisfied (53%) or very satisfied (17%) with their current core benefits enrollment technology system, while nearly the same percentage professed neutrality or dissatisfaction (13% and 15%, respectively). For benefits administration, most also were satisfied (47%) or very satisfied (20%), while 15% were neutral and 11% were dissatisfied. For voluntary enrollment, most were satisfied (51%) or very satisfied (16%), while nearly 20% were neutral and nearly 10% were dissatisfied.