Financial security employees’ biggest concern in India: MetLife survey

SRINAGAR: The biggest financial concern of employees in India is financial security of their families in case of their premature death, MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study 2015 (EBTS) has revealed.
In a release issued here on Wednesday, MetLife said it surveyed employers and employees in India to gain insights into employee loyalty, financial concerns, talent retention, and productivity.
And the study, it said, revealed that employees in India are seeking benefits that will provide protection coverage in order to help ease their financial concerns.
“For example, 65% of employees are worried about their family’s financial security in case of premature death followed by having enough money to cover healthcare costs and child’s education,” it said.
“However, employers may be overlooking this fundamental need.”
According to the study, 54% of Indian employees admitted spending more time thinking about personal financial issues at work than they should, impacting productivity and engagement at the workplace.
Due to “lack of financial security” in the country, these concerns are more pronounced in India than in developed markets, the study mentioned.
About 73% of the employees, as per the survey, are seeking life insurance as a key protection product and 61% would even buy life insurance without support from employers.
The study stated that a “huge perception gap” exists between what benefits employees want and the benefits employers are more likely to offer, with only 30% of surveyed employers providing life insurance in India.
“One solution is for employers to offer employees a choice to customise their own personal benefits through flexible or voluntary benefits programme,” it said.
The study has also revealed that India is the world’s largest producers of graduates, but talent to meet the demand of the largest hires, IT, ITES and financial services is in acute shortage.
It indicated that 46% of employers are concerned that shortage of talent will affect their business in the next 12 months. And the “war for talent” is pushing salaries to the levels where companies face the risk of losing the cost leverage that made them successful in the first place, it said.
The study showed the employees are willing to take up additional coverage on health, life and accidents either jointly paid by employers and employees or pay from employees’ own purses.
“Globally, we are seeing employers increasingly challenged to find ways to attract and retain talent, as well as drive loyalty and commitment, while managing costs,” Executive Vice President, Global Employee Benefits, MetLife, Maria Morris, said in the release.
“Employee benefits are becoming a valuable tool in helping employers win the war for talent. This is why we conduct our global employee benefit trends study in dynamic markets like India.
“It provides us with the opportunity to examine what’s on the minds of employees, and at the same time, provide employers with insights that will help better leverage benefits as a tool to address their talent challenges and rising costs,” she said.
Tarun Chugh, MD & CEO, PNB MetLife, said India, as “one of the fastest growing economies”, presents unique challenges to both domestic businesses and multinational corporations.
“Since the rapid growth of India’s economy has put its employment market under stress, we at MetLife conducted a study to gauge insights that will help employers better navigate these challenges,” he said.
He said the study’s findings, in India, revealed that employers need to address a broader employee value proposition that focuses on meeting the needs of Indian employees. In doing so, he said, employers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace.