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Willis Towers Watson finds increasing satisfaction with the benefit marketplace experience, according to survey

99% of U.S. employers and 95% of U.S. employees say they are satisfied


September 10, 2018

Willis Towers Watson released its 2018 Employee and Employer Experience on a Benefit Marketplace Report and found that overall employee and employer satisfaction rates with the benefit marketplace are increasing.

ARLINGTON, VA, September 10, 2018 — From 2016 to 2018, overall employee satisfaction rose from 92% to 95%, and overall employer satisfaction rose 22 percentage points — from 77% to 99%.

The survey results are based on data collected over the last 18 months from more than 150 employers and more than 17,200 employees in the U.S. who use Willis Towers Watson’s online benefit selection and enrollment technology.

According to the survey results, employees and employers increasingly understand the value of the marketplace, as their experience with it strengthens over time. Employees reported increased satisfaction with the choices available on the marketplace, with scores rising by seven percentage points from 2016 to 2018. The number of employees reporting they would be more likely to continue with their current employer due to benefit programs also grew, from 72% to 78%.

“The fact we see increased satisfaction over time, as survey respondents have longer experience with the marketplace, testifies its real value for employers and employees alike,” said Alan Silver, senior director, Benefits Delivery and Administration, Willis Towers Watson. “Employer satisfaction is a result of reduced costs, simplified administration and the ability to provide more choice in benefit offerings, while employees like the support to make educated decisions and choose benefits tailored to their unique needs.”

Notable survey findings include:

  • 90% of employers say moving to a benefit marketplace has helped to simplify their benefits administration process.
  • 97% of employees preferred to choose their own benefits (rather than have their employer choose).
  • 96% of employees are satisfied with the shopping and enrollment experience.

Employers report high satisfaction across a number of factors. In terms of their employees’ experience, 91% of employers agreed the decision support functionality prepared their workforce to make the right choices, while 89% said moving to the marketplace has enhanced their employees’ understanding of benefits and costs. The percentage of employers saying the marketplace helped them control costs grew 70% to 87% from 2016 to 2018, and employers also reported high satisfaction with streamlined administration and the renewal process.

Employee responses align strongly to what employers say about marketplace benefits; for example, employees say they are strongly satisfied with their ability to choose their own benefits, and 94% of renewing employees are satisfied with the benefit choices they made last year.

About the 2018 Employee and Employer Experience on a Benefit Marketplace Report

This report is based on an annual survey of employees and employers that utilize a benefit marketplace. Over the past 18 months, Willis Towers Watson conducted a survey of employees and employers who use our platform for their benefits to learn about their experience. This survey targeted employees with open enrollment dates between January and December 2017, and employers with benefit effective dates between April 2017 and March 2018. 17,284 employees responded to this survey, 41% first-time users and 59% renewals. 159 employers responded to this survey, 16% first-time users and 84% renewals.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has over 40,000 employees serving more than 140 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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