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Retirement Doesn’t Mean Goodbye! An Insider Look at Retirement Benefits Administration

Retirement Doesn’t Mean Goodbye! An Insider Look at Retirement Benefits Administration
Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 by Bridget Mortland

When employees end their service after a long career, chances are they still feel a strong connection to the place they worked, and the people they worked with and for.

retirement-adminstration-benefitsThis is especially true for those long-service employees who qualify for employer-sponsored healthcare benefits during retirement.

Retiree benefits can provide critical financial and health protection, so it’s not surprising that retirees are highly invested and motivated to make sure they understand how those benefits work and how they’re delivered.

It’s understandable. According to a recent survey, the price for retiree benefits can be steep. An average retired couple, both age 65 in 2019, may need approximately $285,000 after-tax dollars to cover healthcare expenses in retirement.

When it all goes right, retirees can be loyal ambassadors of your employer brand long after their active service ends. But if it goes wrong, they can be quick to notice any shortcomings in the delivery of the benefits they’re counting on.

Retirees don’t want a benefits delivery experience that’s fundamentally different from what they had when they were actively at work, and they don’t want to have to log in to multiple systems or call a lot of phone numbers to get the information and support they need.  

In short, this stuff is important to your retirees. And, offering the wrong solution can prove expensive for you.

Retiree healthcare benefits can be extremely complex, with their own set of unique challenges. As we’ve been talking with clients about their needs for retiree healthcare benefits administration, we’ve heard some key themes that we wanted to share. This is what employers that offer retiree healthcare benefits and want a best-in-class solution are looking for:

  • A retiree benefits experience that offers the same range of quality support available in the administration of active employee benefits
  • Benefits administration technology that’s flexible and responsive to the unique eligibility, design and compliance requirements of retiree programs
  • Exceptional retiree benefits support by ensuring a smooth transition from active employment to retirement, and from pre-65 benefits to Medicare eligibility and enrollment

Effective retiree services need to meet these overarching goals while delivering a highly flexible administration approach that solves for the reality that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to retiree benefits programs. And, there should be advantages for you as the plan sponsor.

  • Insights when you need them. You want to be able to plan for and understand your retirees’ benefit elections before and after they retire.
  • Flexibility and efficiency. The solution should be able to handle complex eligibility rules and cost structures when building plan eligibility, rates and other data requirements for pre-Medicare and Medicare-eligible retirees and their family members.
  • The power to engage. The ability to communicate effectively with your retirees should be baked in to the solution for ease of use and effectiveness.
  • End-to-end support. You don’t want to have to worry about retiree invoicing and payment. The solution should include direct billing services to manage this aspect of retiree healthcare coverage on your behalf.

And just as importantly, the  experience should be positive and seamless from retirees’ perspective. For example: 

  • Easy updates. Your retirees should be able to access the system before or after their retirement date to supply required information and make their benefit elections. Also, it should be easy and intuitive to update their (or a dependent’s) eligibility for Medicare when the time comes.
  • Access anytime from anywhere. It’s not just Millennials who want mobile access. Retirees should have access to a mobile app for tools and information on the go.
  • Easy payments. Billing should be easy so retirees can make payments for their coverage.

Retirees with employer-sponsored healthcare coverage may no longer be active employees, but how their benefits are delivered matters. A poor benefits experience can color retirees’ perspective and turn organizational ambassadors into vocal detractors.

Leveraging a benefits delivery solution that is easy for you to use and that can address the administrative complexity of retiree benefits while also providing a modern experience helps you make the most of your investment in benefits for this population.

To learn more about how Businessolver can support and strengthen your retiree benefits strategy, check out our page below: