GLOBAL – Millions of pounds are being lost each year as a result of companies around the world not managing their benefits plans effectively, suggests the latest Towers Perrin (TP) World-wide Benefits Management Report.

The survey covered 157 companies globally, including 25% of Europe’s top 100.

The report finds that despite the intention on the part of most firms to cut their costs, the majority of companies are not taking advantage of the tools and techniques available to them for this purpose.
Examples of the missed opportunities, according to TP, include multinational pooling of insurance risk, the use of global advisors and benefits managers and web-based human resource transactions.

The survey also finds that 50% of respondents consider cost control as the main reason for adopting a global benefits strategy, 44% says recruitment and staff retention are the main reasons, whilst 35% says that a global benefits strategy will improve global competitiveness.

Furthermore, TP’s research suggests that benefit plans will not support a company’s business objectives if its employees do not understand the true value of their benefits.

Says Nigel Bateman, principal at TP: “The message for employers is clear: with the huge amounts of money involved, an active and business focused approach to designing, financing and operating employee benefits on a global basis can really add value – a key element is to ensure the package is clearly communicated.”