Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Legal Plans Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse ...

Today?s workforce is more diverse than ever; therefore a growing number of employers are leveraging voluntary benefits to create robust, universally appealing employee benefits packages that cater to the wide-ranging needs of a multigenerational workforce.

Voluntary employee benefits are an easy, affordable way for employers to enhance core benefits at no direct cost to the organization. They are also cost-effective for employees who can access the services at a lower rate than if they were to purchase them on their own.? However, voluntary benefits that appeal to Baby Boomers may not hold the same value for younger generations, so it is important to choose benefits that resonate with all age groups. One such benefit is a group legal plan, which allows organizations to offer employees affordable access to the legal services they need.

In any given year, seven in 10 U.S. households (71%) experienced an event in which they could have used legal assistance[1]. These events include traffic tickets, home purchases, will creation, estate planning documents and powers of attorney. MetLife?s Unlocking Voluntary Value study[2] found that Generation Y, Generation X and Baby Boomers all require some level of legal assistance, although specific needs vary:

  • Generation Y (ages 18 ? 31): ?Common legal issues among this generation include credit card debt and debt collection defense, traffic tickets, landlord negotiations and DUI?s.
  • Generation X (ages 32 ? 47): ?This generation?s legal needs migrate toward real estate transactions, foreclosure, estate planning, adoption, school hearings and will creation.
  • Baby Boomers (ages 48 ? 66): ?Typical events that lead this group to seek legal assistance include tax audits, property sale, identity theft, powers of attorney, living wills and Medicare questions.

Group legal plans reduce mental and physical stress.?

An American Bar Association study revealed that more than half of Americans with legal issues attempt to resolve matters on their own1. ?Most individuals outside of the legal profession are unfamiliar with the law and legal procedures; therefore, attempts to go it alone often result in a disproportionate amount of time spent and increased stress (mental and physical, which are intertwined). A Harris Interactive study, sponsored by Hyatt Legal Plans, found that the majority of employees (61%) who hired a group legal plan attorney spent less time at work worrying about, and dealing with, their legal situation[3].

Legal services provided through employee benefits provide convenient access to experienced attorneys. This reduces time away from work, on-the-job presenteeism and overall stress. ?Through a simple implementation process, a group legal plan can help a multigenerational workforce address all these issues quickly, affordably and conveniently.

Brittany Schmigel works for Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company and the country?s largest provider of?group legal plans.

[1] American Bar Association, Public Perception of Lawyers Consumer Research Findings (April, 2002).

[2] MetLife, Unlocking Voluntary Value:? A Foolproof Formula to Pinpoint the Right Voluntary Benefits for Your Business (2012).

[3] Harris Interactive on behalf of Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife Company, How Group Legal Plans are Positively Impacting Physical and Financial Health (February, 2012).



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