Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 20

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT EMPLOYEE BENEFITS By Ayo Mseka Employers Want Guidance about Voluntary Benefit Options Survey shows potential opportunity for experienced advisors to expand their financial practices. T wo of five employers that currently do not rely on guidance from a financial advisor say they would welcome such help with voluntarybenefit options such as retirement plans, life and disability insurance, as well as other protection benefits, according to a new study from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. The 2016 MassMutual Benefits Advice Study finds that 39 percent of employers without an advisor would find guidance regarding voluntary benefits from an experienced financial professional "extremely valuable" or "very valuable," and 57 percent would characterize such help as at least "somewhat" or more valuable. The study, conducted by Greenwald & Associates as part of a broader research project, surveyed 565 U.S. employers of different sizes, ranging from fewer than 25 employees to 1,000 or more employees. "Employers increasingly are looking for help from financial advisors with voluntary benefits as their employees' personal financial needs become more complex," said Tom Foster, spokesperson and practice management leader for MassMutual's retirement plan services. "Our research shows that advisors with the appropriate knowledge and expertise may have a clear and compelling opportunity to expand their financial practices to offer at least some guidance about voluntary benefits." The perceived value of guidance about voluntary benefits appears to grow steadily with the size of the employer, according to the survey. Firms that would characterize such assistance as "extremely" or "very" valuable range from 33 percent for those with fewer than 25 employees, to 55 percent for those with 1,000 or more employees. The percentages of 20 ADVISOR TODAY | September/October 2016 employers that would see such advice as at least "somewhat" or more valuable range from 75 percent for the smallest employers to 80 percent for larger firms, the study found. Top marks for advisors Employers that already rely on an advisor for help with voluntary benefits are generally pleased with the guidance they are receiving. More than half (53 percent) of these employers rate the advice they received as "excellent" or "very good" and 77 percent rate it as "good" or better, the study found. Again, the level of satisfaction climbs with the size of the employer. The quality of guidance received from an advisor was rated as "excellent" or "very good" by half of employers with fewer than 25 employees and by two-thirds of employers with 1,000 or more employees, according to the study. The effects of using an advisor The research study also shows that employers that rely on help from an advisor are more likely to promote employee wellness and benefits utilization. Sixty-one percent of employers that rely on an advisor encourage employees to take advantage of both retirement savings and other voluntary benefits compared with 49 percent of employers that do not use an advisor. Also, 48 percent of advisor-supported firms promote financial well-being for their employees, compared to 33 percent of non-advisor oriented firms, according to the study. Benefits offered Regardless of whether an advisor is involved or not, the research shows that some benefits are more likely Employers that already rely on an advisor for help with voluntary benefits are generally pleased with the guidance they are receiving. to be offered by employers than others. Overall, the employers who participated in the survey offered the following insurance benefits in order of popularity: * Healthcare (92 percent) * Dental (73 percent) * Life insurance (72 percent) * Vision (60 percent) * Short-term disability (52 percent) * Long-term disability (51 percent) * Accident (32 percent) * Employee assistance program (21 percent) * Wellness program (20 percent) * Critical illness insurance (17 percent) * Cancer insurance (16 percent) * Long-term-care insurance (13 percent) "Ultimately, the benefits an employer selects should meet the diverse needs of employees as dictated by family situations, generational and gender differences, and personal finances, among other circumstances," Foster said. "Experienced financial advisors may be particularly well suited to help employers come to grips with their employees' benefits needs, including both wealth accumulation and wealth protection."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2016

From the Editor
Viewpoint
The DOL Fiduciary Rule and Conflicts of Interest
Our Value Proposition We Help Clients Identify Risks
Conversations That Empower Clients
Making the Most of LIAM
Three Reasons to Consider Cash Value Life Insurance
Using Fixed Annuities to Meet Your Clients’ Investment Goals
Employers Want Guidance About Voluntary Benefit Options
Industry Trailblazers
Sales Ideas That Works
Time-Saving Techniques You Can Use Today
NAIFA News
NAIFA Government Relations
Using Facebook to Grow Your Business
Properly Preparing for a Closing Appointment
Advertiser Index
Back Page
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - cover1
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - cover2
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 1
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 2
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 3
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 4
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 5
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 6
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 7
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - From the Editor
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 9
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Viewpoint
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - The DOL Fiduciary Rule and Conflicts of Interest
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Our Value Proposition We Help Clients Identify Risks
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Conversations That Empower Clients
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 14
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Making the Most of LIAM
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Three Reasons to Consider Cash Value Life Insurance
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Using Fixed Annuities to Meet Your Clients’ Investment Goals
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 18
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 19
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 20
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 21
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Industry Trailblazers
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 23
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 24
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 25
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 26
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 27
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 28
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Sales Ideas That Works
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 30
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 31
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Time-Saving Techniques You Can Use Today
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 33
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 34
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 35
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - NAIFA News
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 37
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 38
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 39
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 40
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 41
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - NAIFA Government Relations
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Using Facebook to Grow Your Business
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 44
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Properly Preparing for a Closing Appointment
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - 46
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Advertiser Index
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - Back Page
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - cover3
Advisor Today - September/October 2016 - cover4
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