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NEW YORK, Jul 23, 2002 -- American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has announced that a new survey sponsored by the Group Management Division of the American International Companies and conducted by Ernst & Young LLP reveals that global companies will likely increase voluntary benefit offerings to employees in international locations.

While global employers are taking a closer look at costs and contributions to their voluntary benefit offerings amid the still-weak economy, few (3%) are limiting or dropping voluntary plan options. In fact, the survey of senior human resources, compensation, and benefits executives at 120 of the largest multinationals, with a total of more than six million employees, found fifty-one percent (51%) of the companies surveyed either plan to expand the voluntary benefit product options in their offerings or make voluntary benefit plans available in additional countries in which they do business, during the next one to two years.

"The fact that companies are going to increase their offerings in the voluntary benefits arena to their employees in international markets is a win-win for employees and employers alike," said Gregory Arms, President, Group Management Division of the American International Companies. "Company-sponsored voluntary benefits offer a more cost-effective opportunity for employees to purchase benefits, and they can help companies differentiate themselves in retaining and creating stronger loyalty among employees."

Marc Minker, a Partner in Ernst & Young's Human Resource Services practice and the overall project leader for the survey, added: "What we found encouraging is that despite a difficult economy, more companies still plan to expand their voluntary benefits offerings. These companies are recognizing that, among other advantages, voluntary benefits are a great way to provide both employers and employees with added benefits flexibility."

During the first three months of 2002, Ernst & Young surveyed 127 global benefits directors and country managers of voluntary benefits from a cross-section of the largest multinationals based primarily in North America and Europe. Voluntary benefits are defined as "those benefits that are offered at an additional cost to employees on a voluntary basis, including life, medical, disability and other insurance; savings and retirement plans; and medical reimbursement plans, among others."

Other findings of the survey include:

-- Forty-four percent (44%) of global companies plan to add new voluntary benefits to their current offerings in the next one to two years.

-- The desire to remain competitive in the marketplace in terms of attracting new employees was cited by more than half of the respondents as the number one reason for offering voluntary benefits (53%), followed by employee retention and the belief that the company has a responsibility for the welfare of its employees (21%).

-- Medical insurance and life insurance show the highest participation levels of all voluntary benefit products. Of those respondents who noted particularly strong increases in participation levels over the last one to two years (28% of the respondent base), fifty percent (50%) reported that savings and retirement plans had the strongest increase in participation, followed by medical insurance (24%) and life insurance (21%).

An executive summary of the survey is available upon request by calling 212/770-1289.

American International Group, Inc. is the world's leading U.S.-based international insurance and financial services organization, the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance in the United States, and among the top ranked U.S. life insurers. Its member companies write a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products for commercial, institutional and individual customers through a variety of distribution channels in approximately 130 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world. AIG's global businesses also include financial services, retirement savings and asset management. AIG's financial services businesses include aircraft leasing, financial products, trading and market making, and consumer finance. AIG has one of the largest retirement savings businesses in the United States and is a leader in asset management for the individual and institutional markets, with specialized investment management capabilities in equities, fixed income, alternative investments and real estate. AIG's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the stock exchanges in London, Paris, Switzerland and Tokyo.

The Group Management Division (GMD) of the American International Companies, is a global business dedicated to the development and distribution of employee benefits, credit, and group association products and services. GMD is built on a foundation of strong local country capabilities, which are key to meeting worldwide employee benefits needs. Headquartered in New York, GMD's regional and local offices actively manage a broad range of products and services in more than 100 countries and over 9 million lives covered. GMD information can be found at www.aiggmd.com

Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, understands the business issues that are important to senior executives. With extensive business knowledge and hands-on industry experience, the global Ernst & Young organization can implement a broad array of solutions to help companies capture growth, improve financial performance and manage risk--anywhere in the world. Its 84,000 people serve as trusted business advisers in more than 130 countries, offering audit, tax, corporate finance and transaction services across all industries to many of today's leading global corporations as well as emerging growth companies. In addition, legal services are available in various parts of the world where permitted. A collection of Ernst & Young's views on a variety of business issues can be found at www.ey.com. Ernst & Young refers to all members of the global Ernst & Young organization, including the U.S. firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

CONTACT: AIG Ned Burke, 212/770-3141 ned.burke@aig.com or Ernst & Young Catherine Svoboda, 212/773-3517 catherine.svoboda@ey.com