Voya Survey Finds One-Third of American Workers Don’t Understand the Benefits They Selected During Open Enrollment

Friday, January 29, 2021

Lack of understanding of benefit features is highest among millennials (54%)

Two-thirds (66%) of working Americans want their employer to help them better understand the benefits they enrolled in throughout 2021

WINDSOR, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today new findings from a consumer survey revealing that working Americans will increasingly be turning to their employers in 2021 for education, support and guidance to better understand their workplace benefits. Specifically, the results show 35% of employed individuals report not fully understanding any of the employee benefits they enrolled in during their most recent open enrollment period. This rises among younger workers — with more than half (54%) of millennials reporting they don’t understand their benefit selections.

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic taught many individuals that they need to be ready for the unexpected, which includes protecting themselves from unplanned health-related expenses that could deplete their emergency and retirement savings,” said Rob Grubka, president of Voya Employee Benefits.

“As a result, Voya’s latest survey shows that nearly 6-in-10 American workers (56%) spent more time reviewing their benefits offered by their employer during the fall open enrollment period. This is good news suggesting that many employees did not simply hit the ‘default button’ during open enrollment and likely signed up for additional workplace benefits,” explained Grubka. “The challenge now in 2021 — especially among younger workers, like millennials — is providing ongoing support and education to help employees understand how to maximize their new benefit selections to address their holistic financial wellness needs.”

Voya’s latest survey reveals that the majority of working Americans are eager for education, guidance and support from their employers. Two-thirds of employees (66%) indicated they want their employer to help them better understand their employee benefits throughout the year — not just at open enrollment. Interestingly, this number jumps for younger workers with 78% of millennials reporting they would like more communications about their workplace benefits throughout 2021. Additionally, more than 7-in-10 of employees (73%) are interested in support and guidance tools that help them understand how much money to put aside for retirement, emergency savings and health-care expenses.

“Supplemental health benefits like accident insurance, hospital indemnity insurance and critical illness insurance can be confusing — especially for younger workers, who might have enrolled in these coverages for the first time due to the pandemic,” said Andrew Frend, SVP of Product and Strategy, Voya Employee Benefits. “Plus, with COVID-19 shining a spotlight on the need for greater financial security, the challenge for employers moving forward will be connecting health and wealth benefits as their employees continue to have an increasing need for budgeting, planning and guidance resources.”

“Fortunately, benefits providers can help employers by: providing robust education programs; developing engaging, year-round communication campaigns; and offering innovative digital tools to help their employees understand and maximize their workplace benefits,” explained Frend. “At Voya, we recently launched a new HSA digital assistant — myHealthMoney — to help employees plan for future health-care expenses. In 2021, Voya is working to enhance the capabilities of this powerful tool to help Americans make informed benefits decisions and manage their income across competing health, savings and spending demands.”

Voya’s Employee Benefits business offers stop loss, group life, disability and supplemental health insurance products through the workplace, as well as health savings and spending accounts, to employers and their employees. Voya has extensive experience in the design, implementation and administration of employee benefits plans, and it offers a full range of supplemental insurance products that include critical illness/specified disease, accident, hospital indemnity and disability income insurance.

As an industry leader and advocate for greater retirement readiness, Voya Financial is committed to delivering on its vision to be America’s Retirement Company® and its mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time.

All data outlined in this release, unless noted otherwise, is based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through Ipsos on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,005 adults aged 18+ in the U.S. (featuring 294 who are currently working and benefits-eligible, which includes 82 millennials in this group). Research was conducted Dec. 17-18, 2020.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13.8 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.5 billion in revenue in 2019. The company had $657 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Sept. 30, 2020. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement Company®. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has been recognized as a 2020 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine; one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; as a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.

Health Savings and Spending Accounts, including Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, Commuter Benefits, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and COBRA Administration offered by Voya Benefits Company, LLC (in New York, doing business as Voya BC, LLC). Administration services provided by WEX Health, Inc., and Benefit Strategies, LLC.

Insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within the State of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products issued. Both are members of the Voya® family of companies. Voya Employee Benefits is a division of both companies. Product availability and specific provisions may vary by state.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multispecialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD). ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com.

Ipsos is a separate entity and not a corporate affiliate of Voya Financial®.


Bill Sutton
Voya Financial
Office: (860) 580-2626
Cell: (315) 373-9685

Source: Voya Financial, Inc.