Health & Benefits Insurance: Matching Employer Brands & Employee Needs

Employees looking at Health and Benefits Insurance

Our Health & Benefits team analyses and determines actual client needs and develops individual or collective employee benefits plans based on corporate goals.

Protecting the health and safety of employees has never been more important for employers than right now. Employees are now looking for working environments that best meet their individual needs, provide well-being and health benefits as well as opportunities for career development. Employers are thus challenged to adopt new ways of cooperation and establish a collaboration culture with new values. Asserting one’s employer brand position and remaining attractive for both existing employees and new talents has never been more difficult.

Across the globe, HR managers are familiar with the “war for talents” – the battle for skilled workers. Hence, it is
not uncommon for highly qualified professionals to have the upper hand in negotiations. Committed employees
expect more than just an adequate remuneration for their work performance. Looking beyond tomorrow,
they expect additional packages, such as a contribution to their personal future provision or even a pension plan.

We like to act in the spirit of a large Opbacher family and offer our employees special solutions in the area of employee benefits. The GrECo team has the necessary expertise to coordinate the content of these solutions with our tax advisor and the perseverance for the right timing.

Mag. Viktoria Neuner-Opbacher
Managing Director at Opbacher Installationen

Providing tailored Health & Benefits insurance solutions

We put our effort into satisfying the individual needs of our clients by making sure they receive:

  • Tailored health and benefits concepts which we compare to relevant labour and tax law options.
  • Planning and support for in-house implementation and optimisation of existing systems.
  • Support in the selection of partners through tender negotiations and comparisons, evaluations, etc., as well as support for tenders under public procurement law.
  • Complete project management expertise to implement employee benefits schemes.

“The specialists from GrECo regularly benchmark our existing Health & Benefits programmes with others available in the market. We receive reliable market research, loss ratio reports
and information on brand new products e.g. Covid-19 or cancer insurance. Moreover, GrECo Poland also provides support for our employees –they are always available per e-mail and telephone for them!

Marta Pogorzelska
HR Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Poland

Creating added value

We help clients tackle the challenges they face as employers:

  • Premium and cost containment: Our multilevel approach to obtain best pricing conditions as well as regular and transparent loss ratio control results boosts efficiency in risk placement conditions.
  • Individual approach and service quality: Ensuring the highest quality standard and an individual approach at all stages is our topmost priority.
  • GrECo competitive environment: We aim for an optimal cost benefit, coupled with the widest possible coverage.
  • Highly professional team: Every member of our Health & Benefits team is a highly qualified specialist who looks back on five and more years of experience in insurance and employee benefits.

We had an extensive decision-making process about the change of our severance payment fund together with our works council and the investment department. The specialists from GrECo accompanied this decision with their in-depth knowledge and experience based on their annual market study, which gives a long-term overview of the development of the severance payment funds.

Gerhard Humpeler
CFO at Julius Blum GmbH

This article is part of our new Annual report 2021. The annual report gives you a review on GrECo`s facts & figures of the last business year and our most important developments. In addition you can find testimonials on the services the GrECo Group provides to its clients. The case studies are from different industries and GrECo regions.

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Corona triggers boom in life insurances

No pension cuts as a result of losses in securities investments, but a guaranteed secure retirement provision in times of crisis: classic life insurance is back in high demand. Triggered by the Corona crisis, it is experiencing a new upswing as a form of retirement provision.

As can be read in the current finance news on http://www.procontra-online.de, the number of life insurance policies in Germany rose by 34% (!) at the high point of the COVID-19 crisis. This is the result of a survey conducted by Swiss Life Germany among 1.3 million customers.

Awareness of safety is increasing

The corona virus not only triggered the worst economic crisis since World War II, but also a boom for life insurances. Suddenly the need of the long-term security in the age precaution is again in the focus and less the highest possible investment success. A failure impairs the preventive effect. Particularly “sustainable” when securities funds, which should serve as “retirement provisions”, crash immediately before retirement, such as the state-owned Japanese pension fund – incidentally the largest in the world (according to Kurier online from 04.07.2020). This fund posted a loss of EUR 146 billion in the first quarter of 2020, that is 11% of its total value – a disaster and also the worst decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

A fund can cope with such a crash for a maximum of a year before pension payments have to be reduced. There is therefore a risk that pensions will be cut immediately upon retirement or soon afterwards. This is not possible with classic life insurance policies.

The performance of classic life insurance versus the long-term development of securities: The uncertainty factor is volatility, not the long-term return!

The well-known MSCI World Index of Morgan Stanley Capital International, tracks the historical development of 1,600 shares from 23 industrialized countries. Its long-term performance is somewhat higher than that of a classic life insurance policy (+/- 40%), but the volatility is also very pronounced. There can therefore be large upward and downward fluctuations. This is in contrast to the classic pension insurance, where there is no loss of capital shortly before as well as after the retirement and thus no pension cuts.

Only the classic pension insurance can prevent capital market risks and pension cuts – both private and commercial via the pension commitment reinsurance.

The investment of a classic pension insurance (= a form of classic life insurance with guaranteed, lifelong pensions, called “pension commitment reinsurance” at company level) is made in a classic cover pool. This is a very conservative and safety-oriented investment and is based on strict legal regulations, which are just as strictly controlled and monitored.

In life insurance, the strategic focus is on security and not on the exploitation of return opportunities. This can prevent the effects of capital market risks. This should be taken into account when combining different financial products – from old-age provision to asset accumulation – and also differentiated accordingly.

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Guido Teutsch

Specialist Employee Benefits

T +43 5 04 04 – 247