|[February 26, 2013]
Study Looks At Why Group Legal Plans Are Growing As a Workplace Voluntary Benefit
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
Providing employees access to affordable, quality legal services is
gaining recognition among employers as a potential addition to enhance a
voluntary benefits program, according to a new survey of human resource
and benefits professionals. The study, sponsored by MetLife, found the
top reasons why a growing number of employers do offer group legal plans
are to improve employee satisfaction (69%) and retention and loyalty
(44%), as well as to compete with other companies' benefit programs
One of the primary positive results of the availability of a legal plan
- cited by 74% of surveyed employers - is helping employees achieve
peace of mind when dealing with a legal issue. Other benefits include
reducing employees' levels of stress (68%), reducing cost of legal
services (62%), reducing time spent at work dealing with personal issues
(58%) and providing above average quality of legal services (57%).
"The interest in legal plans by both employers and employees has been
steadily building," commented Bill Brooks, CEO of Hyatt Legal Plans, a
MetLife company. Brooks notes that 71% of people will encounter a legal
issue each year, according to the American Bar Association. "This is a
benefit that spans the generations and suits a diverse workforce because
there is a broad range of situations where an attorney can help. Quality
legal assistance at a cost of about $216 a year - less than some
attorneys may bill per hour - can be an effective way to generate
Room for Market Growth
The study found that approximately two-thirds of employers that don't
currently offer a group legal plan would be open to adding it to their
voluntary benefit portfolio i they had additional insights. For
example, one concern is whether having a legal plan would add to
administrative burdens. The study revealed, however, that 64% of
surveyed employers who currently have group legal plans actually find
them easier to administer than other voluntary benefits, with an
additional 35% finding them at least as easy.
Another reason almost a third of employers gave for not currently
offering a legal plan is that they are unsure whether employees are
interested. Yet, Hyatt Legal Plans own enrollment data show that
persistency rates are not only very high among sponsors, but also among
employees, with nearly nine out of ten re-enrolling after the first year.
"I really believe legal plans add to our workforce's health and
productivity," said Julie Herr, Benefits Program Manager at Sprint (News - Alert).
"Those who use it really seem to appreciate it."
Plans that cover a wide range of legal matters were cited as preferable
by employers, and the most frequently offered services were will
preparation and estate planning, followed by family matters; home
purchases and sales; and credit problems, among others.
Findings from the study and other resources have been incorporated into
an eGuide, entitled, Getting to Loyal: Legal Services Distinguish
Your Company and Help Meet the Personalized Benefit Needs of Employees,
available at legalplans.com/eGuide.
The survey was conducted online and fielded by SourceMedia in November
2012 to the Employee Benefit News audience. The 359 employer respondents
at organizations of 1,000+ employees were screened for offering
voluntary benefits to employees, being business decision makers in human
resources and benefits, and involvement in designing benefit plans for
their organization, among other criteria.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and
employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its
subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in
the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle
East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
About Hyatt Legal Plans
Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company, is the country's largest provider
of legal voluntary benefits, serving three million people at over 1,500
organizations, including nearly 160 Fortune 500® companies. Learn more
or call 800-423-0300.
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