PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 2

PUBLISHER: Alison Cooke Mintzer
More Than a Salary
ow much of what you do as a plan sponsor and
what your company's benefits team or teams do
is underappreciated by your employees? A recent
Franklin Templeton survey suggests it's quite a bit.
In the research, Voice of the American Workplace,
released earlier this year, employers and employees were
polled, and the findings show a real difference in perspectives
about compensation and benefits, especially in understanding
and awareness.
One thing I often think about when we look at the
world of benefits-and this comes up when we review our annual Plan Sponsor of the
Year entries-is the concept of total compensation. When employees think of compensation,
they think of salary. But when employers think of compensation, they're looking
at all the costs affiliated with salary and benefits-including retirement plan contributions
and matches, health insurance costs, time off and the like.
In the Franklin Templeton survey, more than four in five employers say workplaces
face " insatiable employees that continue to ask for more " (82%) and employees " asking
for raises/increased compensation packages nonstop " (83%). Employees, on the other
hand, say employers aren't stepping up.
Consider this: Employees think only of their salary when they look at whether they
got a wage increase in any particular year. If an employee gets a raise of 3% and his
health-care costs are held flat, he says, I got a 3% raise. However, the plan sponsor
knows that health-care costs went up 5% through 10% and the company chose to absorb
those, meaning, overall, the employee got more than a 3% raise. The company knows
exactly how much more, but the employee fails to recognize the monetary value.
Almost one-third of the workers surveyed (29%) said they don't understand the true
monetary value they get from a benefit (which, I might argue, is less than I'd expect).
According to this research, the result is often a real disconnect between what employers
offer and what their workers think they receive. This kind of misunderstanding makes
sense, as the lens through which each group examines things is different. However, as
sponsors, you are likely bearing the brunt of employee frustration, when you may believe
you're doing everything you can as best you can. Higher salaries are not always possible.
You are also on the receiving end of vocal employee requests for more of a suite of
voluntary perks-pet insurance, student loan assistance and personalized benefits across
the 401(k) and benefit spectrum. Many of you are working to offer a wide array of benefits
to help address your employees' needs-and this list is getting longer every year.
Yet, when you dig in to how those benefits are being-or not being-utilized, it
again brings up the disconnect. Some of it could be chalked up to a lack of awareness-
after all, 50% of workers surveyed said they often struggle to learn which benefits their
company offers. While things such as education-related benefits (provided by 57% of
employers), child care assistance (44%), student loan repayment assistance (39%) and
pet insurance (37%) increasingly are options at open enrollment, only a quarter or less
of workers reported choosing them (26%, 17%, 17% and 16%, respectively). As we know
from our own PLANSPONSOR Participant Survey, the " right " benefit offerings vary for
each employee, based on the stage of the person's life and financial needs at that time.
As sponsors and employers, you have a difficult balancing act, between factually
explaining your total benefits offering and communicating the value of your time, effort
and the dollars being spent on each employee. -Alison Cooke Mintzer, Publisher
2 PLANSPONSOR.COM May - June 2024 Photo by Anthony Collins
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PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024

The Proactive Adviser
Mastering the In-Plan Annuities
2024 Plan Sponsor of the Year Finalists
Why a Second Committee?
Savings Need to Last
DOL Finalizes QPAM Exemption
Filing a VFC Application?
Careful Consideration
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Cover1
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - FC1
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - FC2
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Cover2
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 1
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Insights
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 3
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 4
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 5
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 6
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 7
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 8
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 9
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 10
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 11
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 12
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 13
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 14
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 15
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 16
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 17
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - The Proactive Adviser
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 19
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 20
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 21
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Mastering the In-Plan Annuities
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 23
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 24
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 25
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 2024 Plan Sponsor of the Year Finalists
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 27
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 28
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 29
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 30
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 31
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 32
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 33
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Why a Second Committee?
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 35
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Savings Need to Last
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - 37
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - DOL Finalizes QPAM Exemption
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Filing a VFC Application?
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Careful Consideration
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Cover3
PLANSPONSOR - May/June 2024 - Cover4