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Benefits Outsourcing Is on the Rise: Here’s Why

Posted on February 17th, 2016 Read time: 2 minutes

According to a December 2015 Corporate Benefits Departments: Staffing and Operations report created by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, corporate benefits administration and compliance are being outsourced more than ever. Three hundred forty-three human resource and benefits professionals at U.S. companies in 20 industries responded to the survey. Here’s what they had to say.

  • Findings

Forty percent of benefits functions are being outsourced. Employee assistance programs, flexible spending accounts, COBRA, retirement benefit payments, and pharmacy benefits administration are among tasks most commonly outsourced. Over one-third of companies increased their benefits outsourcing in the past two years. Specialized expertise with legal compliance issues, superior benefits administration technology, and the desire to lower costs while reducing liability risk were the top reasons. Compliance with benefits laws and regulations and rising health care costs were the top two challenges facing benefits departments.

Outsourcing allows more time devoted to addressing challenges such as benefits communication and wellness. Approximately 30 percent of survey respondents dedicate staff for benefits communication; thirty-four percent for wellness programs. In companies of fewer than 1,000 employees, approximately three staff members comprise the benefits department. In companies with over 10,000 employees, up to 11 staff members handle benefits.

  • Advantages

Companies of all sizes can run more efficiently through outsourcing. Absence management services like leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and disability insurance, along with retirement administration and health programs, are commonly outsourced to reduce overhead and stay updated with compliance issues to avoid law violations and potential fines. Dental, life, and disability plans are often outsourced as well: you simply pay a premium while the company consolidates the billing and pays the vendors. An online benefit program enrollment and management platform might allow one online enrollment form to be filled out rather than multiple forms per employee, saving time for the HR rep. Affordable Care Act reporting is often outsourced because of its complexity. Many outsourcing companies have a reporting tool that tracks data and makes reporting easy for clients.

Save your company time and money by outsourcing your benefits functions. Reach out to Innovative Employee Solutions today!

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