Employer provided benefits, though well-intentioned, can nonetheless be a minefield for misinterpretation.
Take life insurance, for example. It's a popular employer-provided perk that is lulling workers into a false sense of security.
A new survey from LIMRA, the research engine for the life insurance industry, says 108 million Americans have life insurance through a group plan while 102 million have coverage through an individual plan they purchased.
That's the first time since LIMRA began tracking the issue in 1960 that group coverage is more popular.
In most instances, workers merely accept the free life insurance benefit without thinking it through. Nothing wrong with free, but free isn't necessarily enough.
Anita Potter, a workplace benefits specialist at LIMRA, says smaller firms tend to offer a flat dollar amount, maybe $25,000 to $50,000. At firms with at least 100 employees the norm is typically a multiple of salary; one times salary is common, though sometimes generous employers offer up a two times or three times free life insurance benefit.
"If you are just out of college and don't have debts or dependents that might be enough," Potter said. "A lot of times it's not enough."