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Flex Bens Provision Continues to Grow

By Owain Thomas

Source: Workplace Savings and Benefits

Almost two thirds (62%) of employers currently offer flexible benefits packages and a further 21% are planning to do so in the future, research from Aon Hewitt reveals.

The survey also found that 60% of respondents opted to outsource the administration of flexible benefits with a vast majority (85%) satisfied with the service they receive.

This compares to just 50% for companies that manage the administration in house.

Aon Hewitt client director in flex administration Lorna Bradford said the study showed that the use of flexible benefits plans was widespread and on the increase.

“Offering a flexible benefits plan has very much become the norm across a number of industries,” she said.

“With on-going concerns over cost and incoming challenges resulting from implementing pension auto-enrolment, we can only see the popularity of flexible benefits plans continuing to rise.”

The survey questioned over 320 pensions and employee benefits managers representing around one million employees.

Overall, it showed that levels of concern around flexible benefits administration were low.

Any concerns raised tended to focus on cost and auto-enrolment, which respondents ranked as the two most important issues affecting flexible benefits over the next 12 months.

Bradford added: “With staging dates fast approaching, many employers are turning to their flex providers for help with dealing with the new requirements of auto-enrolment.

“It can be cost-effective for employers and providers to do this, by making use of the existing technology, infrastructure and data provided for flex administration.

“Our survey revealed that 35% of employers already use the same provider for both pensions and flexible benefits plan administration.”