Benefits Research 2011: Flexible benefits provision

Flexible benefits schemes have attracted a lot of attention from employers, but this has been relatively slow to translate into action. Although the number of employers offering flex schemes continues to rise, it has typically been at a much slower rate than for voluntary and salary sacrifice schemes. This year, the proportion of employers that provide flex to all employees has risen just two percentage points to 25% this year from 23% in 2010.

It will be interesting to see how the launch of corporate wrap platforms into the market impacts on flex schemes going forward. There has already been a blurring of boundaries between flexible and voluntary benefits as employers look to provide perks under a total reward umbrella. Some in the industry are predicting that, in time, flex plans will become integrated with corporate wraps.

The benefits most commonly offered through flex have changed little over the years. Since 2004, just two of the top five flexible benefits then offered by employers critical illness insurance and health cash plans have fallen from this ranking, although they still remain high on the list of benefits offered through flex today.

Research

Read more articles from the Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes Benefits Research 2011