Mercer launches flexible benefits programme
Dubai, October 31, 2013
Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, has launched its flexible benefits offering, customised for the Middle East.
MyChoice by Mercer will enable employers to effectively manage benefits costs while allowing employees to choose the coverage and benefits that best suit their individual needs.
With intense competition for talent and rising health care and benefits costs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies in the Middle East to attract top talent and ensure staff loyalty within their benefits budget, said a statement.
The rising cost of health care, housing, travel and education is increasing the cost of benefits packages offered by employers compared to the past. Yet, even with increasing expenditures on benefits, turnover is still high.
One of the reasons for this is the rich diversity of employees in the region, each with their own specific view on what a desirable benefits package might look like. Many benefit packages in the region have a similar look and feel, leaving employees in a position where one package can look much the same as another, making it a challenge to meet employee needs, limiting the use of benefits as an employee retention tool.
With myChoice, organisations can differentiate their benefits offering by empowering their employees to customise their own benefits packages, appealing to a diverse workforce and engaging employees by offering them choice.
MyChoice can be adapted to any size company, in any industry. The programme allows employees to select and re-assign their employer’s existing benefits budgets towards the benefit package that they want. Employees are given the option to sell core benefits and purchase others that more appropriately suit their specific situation, shifting away the one-size-fits-all system to custom fit.
It is a effective cost containment approach for expensive benefits like medical insurance to enable employee and employer cost sharing, thus can save employers money.
Steve Clements, employee health and benefits leader for the Middle East at Mercer, said: “More and more employers are under pressure to offer more diverse benefits to address the diverse needs of their workforce. They want to address inequities that sometimes exist in their benefit provision, deal with a variety of differing healthcare needs, and generally be more creative for retention purposes by making innovative benefits available.
“A flexible benefit programme can often address these needs by re-assigning existing benefits budgets while empowering employees to choose benefits that match their particular needs and lifestyles.”
Mercer experts point out that the increasing cost of health care combined with legislation in various countries around the region, which mandates employers to provide medical insurance to all their employees and dependents, are causing upward pressure on medical insurance premiums. As a result, employers are looking for ways to control costs and share rising financial burdens with employees – something that can be achieved through this programme.
“With myChoice, employers can maintain core coverage, which would provide essential access to health care services and meet mandated requirements, while giving their employees the option to opt for higher coverage and share in the cost of the premiums,” said Clements. - TradeArabia News Service
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