October 10, 2006 11:26 ET

As Employees Fund and Select More of Their Own Benefits, New MetLife Study Shows That Many Eagerly Anticipate Fall "Open Enrollment" Season

MetLife Offers Rules of Thumb for Selecting Benefits

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- At a time when competitive pressures have forced companies to shift the financial burden for healthcare and other employee benefits from "employer" to "employee," MetLife's 2006 Study of Open Enrollment Benefits Trends shows that a majority of workers look forward to their company's Fall benefits open enrollment period. The survey reveals that most (43%) employees say their company's open enrollment period makes them feel "responsible" -- like a good protector. Few employees indicate that they feel "detached" (6%), "annoyed" (3%) or "overburdened" (4%) by the selection process.

To help them make the best benefits decisions, most employees are hungry for support tools and workplace advice -- especially in the areas of retirement savings (28%) and healthcare (28%). They want and need tools and rules of thumb to help them identify the benefits that are appropriate for their life stage or life situation. For example, single employees may favor disability income insurance and health savings accounts over dependent life insurance; while mid-lifers and pre-retirees are likely to be more interested in retirement income products and long-term care insurance. According to MetLife research, nearly three-quarters (71%) of employees would also like their company to alert them about additional insurance protection they should consider whenever they have a significant "life event."

Because seven in ten employees spend an hour or less reviewing their current benefits and selecting new coverage options, they need workplace advice that is succinct and easy-to-understand. To see how MetLife is helping employees think through their employee benefits options, visit to get a copy of MetLife's rules of thumb for selecting benefits.

The MetLife Open Enrollment Study was conducted in August of 2006 and was fielded by GfK NOP. This survey polled 1,204 full-time employees, age 18 and older, who have at least some say in the benefits decision-making for their household. For more information about MetLife, please visit the company's Web site at

The following video content is available with this release:

--  Soundbites from Ronald Leopold, MD, Vice President, Employer
    Sponsored Benefits at MetLife
--  Soundbites from employees concerned about benefits open enrollment
--  Footage of people reviewing insurance enrollment forms
--  Graphic giving several important tips for selecting benefits during
    Open Enrollment

Contact Information

  • Toni Griffin
    Public Relations
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