Study Looks At Why Group Legal Plans Are Growing As a Workplace Voluntary Benefit

  Study Looks At Why Group Legal Plans Are Growing As a Workplace Voluntary
  Benefit

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- February 26, 2013

Providing employees access to affordable, quality legal services is gaining
recognition among employers as a potential addition to enhance a voluntary
benefits program, according to a new survey of human resource and benefits
professionals. The study, sponsored by MetLife, found the top reasons why a
growing number of employers do offer group legal plans are to improve employee
satisfaction (69%) and retention and loyalty (44%), as well as to compete with
other companies’ benefit programs (32%).

One of the primary positive results of the availability of a legal plan –
cited by 74% of surveyed employers – is helping employees achieve peace of
mind when dealing with a legal issue. Other benefits include reducing
employees’ levels of stress (68%), reducing cost of legal services (62%),
reducing time spent at work dealing with personal issues (58%) and providing
above average quality of legal services (57%).

“The interest in legal plans by both employers and employees has been steadily
building,” commented Bill Brooks, CEO of Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company.
Brooks notes that 71% of people will encounter a legal issue each year,
according to the American Bar Association. “This is a benefit that spans the
generations and suits a diverse workforce because there is a broad range of
situations where an attorney can help. Quality legal assistance at a cost of
about $216 a year – less than some attorneys may bill per hour – can be an
effective way to generate employee loyalty.”

Room for Market Growth

The study found that approximately two-thirds of employers that don’t
currently offer a group legal plan would be open to adding it to their
voluntary benefit portfolio if they had additional insights. For example, one
concern is whether having a legal plan would add to administrative burdens.
The study revealed, however, that 64% of surveyed employers who currently have
group legal plans actually find them easier to administer than other voluntary
benefits, with an additional 35% finding them at least as easy.

Another reason almost a third of employers gave for not currently offering a
legal plan is that they are unsure whether employees are interested. Yet,
Hyatt Legal Plans own enrollment data show that persistency rates are not only
very high among sponsors, but also among employees, with nearly nine out of
ten re-enrolling after the first year.

“I really believe legal plans add to our workforce’s health and productivity,”
said Julie Herr, Benefits Program Manager at Sprint. “Those who use it really
seem to appreciate it.”

Plans that cover a wide range of legal matters were cited as preferable by
employers, and the most frequently offered services were will preparation and
estate planning, followed by family matters; home purchases and sales; and
credit problems, among others.

Findings from the study and other resources have been incorporated into an
eGuide, entitled, Getting to Loyal: Legal Services Distinguish Your Company
and Help Meet the Personalized Benefit Needs of Employees, available at
legalplans.com/eGuide.

Methodology

The survey was conducted online and fielded by SourceMedia in November 2012 to
the Employee Benefit News audience. The 359 employer respondents at
organizations of 1,000+ employees were screened for offering voluntary
benefits to employees, being business decision makers in human resources and
benefits, and involvement in designing benefit plans for their organization,
among other criteria.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and
employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its
subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the
United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For
more information, visit www.metlife.com.

About Hyatt Legal Plans

Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company, is the country’s largest provider of
legal voluntary benefits, serving three million people at over 1,500
organizations, including nearly 160 Fortune 500® companies. Learn more at
www.legalplans.com or call 800-423-0300.

Contact:

MetLife, Inc.
Patrick Connor, 212-578-7039
pconnor@metlife.com
 
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