Bogged-Down Multinational Benefit Leaders May Be Missing Opportunities

ARLINGTON, Va.--()--Nearly two-thirds (62%) of global pension and benefit leaders at multinational companies claim that day-to-day operational activities are limiting their ability to add value and hampering their strategic contribution to the company, according to research from global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). Results from the latest Current and Emerging Global Benefit Themes survey shows that three-fourths (75%) of participants also believe there is increasing pressure for them to do more with less, suggesting they need to change the way they do things if they are to create the time to focus on more value-added activities.

“The respondents overwhelmingly believe that real value-added business opportunities exist from HQ getting more actively involved in pension and benefit management globally, for example, to help bring global perspective to key local decisions”

“Our research shows that global and regional headquarters (HQ) pension and benefit leaders are under continuous pressure to focus on activities that will add value to their organization, but are stretched in day-to-day operational tasks,” said Brian Makuck, senior consultant in Towers Watson’s International Consulting Group. “To overcome this, leaders need to revisit and review their teams’ activities, and evaluate the impact on the business and what changes can be made to improve efficiency. Global pension and benefit leaders should also consider different resourcing models for HQ activities — such as insourcing, cosourcing and outsourcing — to create space to focus on more valuable opportunities.”

According to the research, about seven in 10 (71%) respondents predict a significant increase in their global or regional involvement in pensions and benefits in 2015. The top three focus areas are expected to be global control and oversight of pensions and benefits, financial management of pension and benefit costs and risks, and employee appreciation of pensions and benefits. North American respondents also named Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. as the top countries to focus on in 2015 for financial and strategic pension and benefit review reasons; the Netherlands owing to pension legislation changes; and Brazil, China and India for more operational reviews.

“The respondents overwhelmingly believe that real value-added business opportunities exist from HQ getting more actively involved in pension and benefit management globally, for example, to help bring global perspective to key local decisions,” said Makuck. “The challenge for HQ pension and benefit leadership is to articulate and implement a coherent global pension and benefit strategy and management approach, and support it with enablers such as road maps of priorities, policies, guidance, technology and networking forums for sharing experiences.”

About the Survey

Towers Watson’s eighth annual Current and Emerging Global Benefit Themes survey is a pulse survey, focused on priorities for 2015. Conducted in September 2014, it covers 313 global and regional HQ leaders of leading multinationals based in Asia Pacific; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Latin America; and North America.

About Towers Watson

Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. With 15,000 associates around the world, the company offers consulting, technology and solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Learn more at towerswatson.com.

Contacts

Towers Watson
Ed Emerman, +1 609-275-5162
eemerman@eaglepr.com

Towers Watson