Indian employers fail to help their employees and themselves: MetLife's Study of International Employee Benefits Trends

According to MetLife,
Despite a rapidly growing economy, very few India employers provide financial benefits to their employees, says Metlife Insurance in a new report, Study of International Employee Benefits Trends, released today. 

This study, spanning four countries — India, Mexico, Australia and the UK apart from the US, is the fifth employee benefit study that MetLife has conducted every year in the US since 2001. The recent study is a comprehensive review on the difference in the financial needs, habits and the perceptions of employees and their employers in matured and emerging economies.

According to the study, blessed with an abundant workforce, there is no dearth of manpower in India. Hence, the topmost priority of the employers is to control costs while increasing employee productivity. In such a situation, things like retaining elusive talent often take a backseat. Hence, there is a general receptivity found in Indian employers when it comes to offering financial benefits to their employees.

"Even though Indians have the highest concern about their financial futures there is very little that is done about it. Employers generally offer few benefits at work even if the employees are ready to pay all the costs themselves," said William J Toppeta, president of MetLife International, while releasing the study in Mumbai today.

The recent survey suggests a huge gap between the benefits required by the Indian employees and the ones that the employers are willing to offer.

"We are very bullish about India. It has a great economy. But despite concerns, Indian employees aren''t preparing financially for the future. Indian employees nearly universally have assessed their life insurance needs, but very few own it. With a great growing economy and immense competition the only way an organization today can stand apart is by retaining its talents and providing outstanding financial benefits to its human resource," said Toppeta.

"Today retirement calls for more planning. With a higher rate of life expectancy of an average Indian, life after retirement cannot be ignored. With the increasing concern regarding health, protection and retirement needs, Indian employees will start demanding more benefits. Therefore, educating employers about the value of employee benefits can help change the employer''s mindset to see what they could gain from offering benefits to employees," added Rajesh Relan, managing director, MetLife India Insurance Company Private Limited.

While citing the difference between the needs and requirements of the Indian employers and employees, the study also points out the potential opportunities for the Indian employers. Employers can deepen the loyalty of their employees by providing financial products such as protection products, savings and endowment products, pension/retirement benefits, among others.