Research update – Multinationals lacking in globally mobile perks

A quarter of all multinational companies do not have a benefits policy for globally mobile employees – according to a new survey conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Of those companies that do have policies, around one-in-ten have never reviewed them.

The Expatriate and third-country nationals benefits survey included responses from 230 large multinational companies based in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa with more than 50,000 globally mobile employees in total.

Peter Blake, principal at Mercer, says: “Setting and managing benefit programmes for expatriates and third-country nationals is an extremely complex undertaking.”

The survey also showed that defined benefit (DB) pension provision for globally mobile employees is set to continue to decline. Two-thirds of companies with international pension plans now use defined contribution (DC) arrangements. Of those companies that currently offer a DB plan, one-in-ten aim to close it in favour of a DC scheme soon.

The survey also found that companies tended to reflect practices in their home countries, with North American organisations typically providing a lower level of benefits than European counterparts.

Although the majority of respondents plan to increase or retain their number of globally mobile employees, 38% report a reduction in long-term assignments as they respond to a changing global economy.

Copies of Expatriate and third-country nationals benefits survey cost Eu900 and are available from on +41 22 869 3000