White paper: Managing Risks in Employee Benefit Plans


This paper looks at the risks associated with the physical, emotional and financial health of the workforce and how employee benefits both mitigate these risks and bring new ones.

Mercer considers how employee benefit plans are a critical component of an employer’s talent strategy and can also enable organisational goals around community and social responsibility, identity and performance.

Key findings

  • Employers need to be aware of the risks inherent in employee benefit plans and how plan design, financing, administration and communication impacts their people and their business.
  • If benefits aren’t appropriately managed for risk, companies can suffer negative business outcomes, including: suboptimal productivity and business performance; damaged reputation; unexpected financial risks; rising costs; business disruption; safety incidents and violations; compromised data privacy and regulatory penalties.
  • Preventative steps to mitigate risks in employee health and benefit plans include: implement governance and centralise decision-making; build a risk registry for employee benefits; apply risk finance optimisation; establish a regular cadence for reviewing benefits; choose vendors that can help address and mitigate risks; secure transmission of health and human capital management data; align benefits and health management strategy with talent strategy for optimal productivity and performance; and communicate effectively so that employees understand, use and value their benefits.

This paper is fourth in Mercer’s This is Health series, which aims to bring together the latest health and benefits trends from all around the world.