Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

August 19, 2020

The Hartford study: More workers losing faith in employee benefits

A growing number of Americans are losing faith in their employee benefits since COVID-19 began to spread across the country in March, a new study shows.

The study released Tuesday by The Hartford Financial Services Group found that 73% of employees polled in June said they value insurance benefits their company offers, down from 80% in early March. 

The Hartford’s “Future of Benefits Study” compared an online survey that polled 761 employers and 1,503 employees from Feb. 27 to March 13, and then another 567 employers and 1,038 employees from June 15 to June 30. Employers surveyed were human resource professionals who manage and make decisions on employee benefits, and workers surveyed were actively employed, the property-casualty insurer said.

Other findings showed that 55% of employees in June said they trust their company in making the best decisions about the benefits available vs. 61% in the first round of the study. 

When asked to compare their company's benefits with what other employers are offering in the marketplace, just 44% rated their benefits "above average" compared to 56% three months earlier.

“As employee familiarity with benefits also declined, our research uncovered an opportunity for employers to increase trust by focusing more on communication, including education about their available benefits and what they cover,” said Jonathan Bennett, head of group benefits at The Hartford. “This is going to be crucial as annual benefits enrollment quickly shifts from an in-person experience to a more virtual one.”

The study also says that more employers are willing to offer new benefits and services not currently offered by their organization. 

Employers grew more interested in providing the following benefits from March to June:

  • Paid time off (PTO) for volunteering (20% to 42%)
  • PTO (31% to 52%)
  • Employee assistance programs (EAP) (38% to 56%)
  • Paid sabbatical (21% to 38%)
  • Hospital indemnity insurance (34% to 48%)
  • Critical illness insurance (36% to 50%)
  • Student loan repayment plans (27% to 38%)
  • Behavioral/mental health services (42% to 51%)
  • Wellness benefits (42% to 51%)
  • Pet insurance (22% to 29%)

In total, most employees are pleased with their employer's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as 65% agreed that their company's response has been "adequate." Another 19% of employees say they neither "agree nor disagree" that their company's overall response to the pandemic was adequate.

The margin of error for employers is plus or minus 4 points and for employees is plus or minus 3 points.

Read the study's findings here.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF