Operational Challenges an Obstacle to Centralisation, says Aon
The increasing trend for multinationals to centralise employee benefits decisions to centres of excellence (CoE) is having a limited impact on operational realities, reports Aon Global Benefits.
The just-released ‘2015 Aon Global Benefits Survey’ shows that a lack of centrally held benefits information is blocking strategic priorities, while benefit administration is draining resources. In addition, most organisations are adopting a ‘just enough is good enough’ attitude to most areas of employee benefits management.
The research also shows that traditional multi-national pooling is on the wane, while captive funding for insured benefits and other financing initiatives are increasing.
The survey, produced by the global benefits unit of international insurance broking and risk advisory group Aon, is based on responses from 184 global benefits and rewards specialists around Europe representing many of the world’s largest multinationals.
“The survey results are striking,” said Carl Redondo, Leader of Aon’s Global Benefits practice in the UK. “There is a clear trend of centralisation at multinationals, yet it isn’t yet flowing through to the way that employee benefits are managed.
“There appears to be an increase in the influence of global CoE but the vast majority of decisions are still being taken by local stakeholders. The data also shows us that the effectiveness of CoE is generally is being restricted by a lack of up to date information and administration activities”.
The 2015 survey shows five clear conclusions:
“The stand out message is that whilst organisations are building the infrastructure to manage employee benefits globally we are still in a transition to that model,” said Redondo. “As they go through this, global benefits teams are being hampered by a lack of data and administration, reducing overall effectiveness.
“The trend towards benefits CoE is a positive step to improving the governance and effectiveness of benefit programmes around the world. However, the study highlights that establishing one is only the start of the journey; significant change management is then needed to drive value from the new model.”