Get your FREE copy of the Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2021

About the report

2020 brought seismic changes to the world of work and was the year Pacific Prime launched our inaugural Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Now as the world rushes to vaccinate and economies gradually open up again, the second edition of our report offers a complete look at the global employee benefits sector in a post-pandemic world.
Designed for business leaders, HR professionals, and employees, the report combines insights from our in-house employee benefits specialists and insurance partners, as well as case studies and statistics from leading companies, to set out the top five employee benefits trends in 2021 and practical tips on implementing them.
Readers can expect a short keynote by our CEO and Founder, Neil Raymond, followed by five sections, each corresponding to an employee benefit trend.

What are the top global employee benefits trends in 2021?

The top global employee benefits trends in 2021 are related to the areas below. For an in-depth explanation of the trends and practical tips on implementing them, be sure to give our Global Employee Benefits Trends Report a read!

What will the post-pandemic workplace look like?

The problem: Employees want flexibility

After the pandemic’s acceleration and normalization of remote working, one thing is loud and clear: moving forward, the overwhelming majority of employees want to retain some kind of flexibility in where and when they work.

If not granted flexibility, more than half of employees will be prepared to quit their jobs.

The solution: A hybrid workplace model

A hybrid workplace model is coveted by employees as it blends the independence and flexibility of working from home with the structure and sociability of the office. It also brings a number of tangible benefits for both employees and employers in the areas of:

  • Work-life balance and mental health
  • Talent acquisition and retention
  • Productivity and business outcomes
  • And more.

But a return-to-work strategy may require employers to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees…

...and employee benefits would need to be tailored to a virtual setting.


How are employees coping with mental health concerns?

The pandemic has caused a surge in mental health concerns for employees, who are looking towards their employer for support and mental health benefits like paid time-off.

Employees are clearly becoming proactive about seeking mental healthcare via Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)...

of employers have seen an increase in the utilization of their EAPs

David Hayes
Dubai Flag
A word from Pacific Prime Dubai’s office

“With mental health challenges weighing heavily on employees during the COVID-19 crisis, mental health benefits and EAPs have become very popular. In Dubai, we’ve successfully helped many of our corporate clients set up EAPs, which have seen high usage and engagement rates.”

- David Hayes,
Regional CEO at Pacific Prime Dubai

...and turning to telehealth apps for mental health services.

Virtual consultations for mental health
Virtual consultations
for mental health


Virtual consultations for physical health
Virtual consultations
for physical health



Why are employers rethinking employee wellbeing?

In contrast to a one-dimensional approach to employee wellbeing, organizations who adopt a holistic approach benefit from more engaged and productive employees, and achieve better financial outcomes as a result.

Global wellbeing programs encompass multiple aspects of employee wellbeing...

Source: Business Group on Health

Measuring outcomes of employee wellness programs

If you are unsure whether the employee wellness program in question is worth investing in, there are a number of metrics you can use such as return-on-investment (ROI) and value-on-investment (VOI).

..and particular focus is placed on financial wellbeing.

Financial and mental health stress results in a 37% drop in employee productivity. As such, financial wellbeing programs can go a long way in addressing employees’ money worries.

But, these measures stop short of addressing employees’ ability to retire on schedule, which is a key cause of financial stress and anxiety in the workforce.

Hong Kong Flag
A word from Pacific Prime Hong Kong’s office

While the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) is an excellent strategy for retirement planning in Hong Kong, there is a general lack of understanding over how it works. At Pacific Prime Hong Kong, our retirement specialists utilize a hands-on approach to support both HR teams and employees in handling their MPF with ease and efficiency.

Employee resilience is also increasingly taking center stage...

The three pillars to employee resilience are:


How do diversity, equity, and inclusion goals fit in?

Did you know that women, LGBTQ+ employees, and people of color are more likely to report acute challenges during the pandemic?

The silver lining: The shift to flexible working arrangements

Employers caught a glimpse of employees’ challenges in managing their work and familial commitments during the pandemic, and their willingness to shift to flexible working arrangements will benefit certain groups of employees (such as those with caring duties). A win for diversity, equity, and inclusion goals!

Employers have the power to change this.

Aside from the moral argument for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the workplace, companies who embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion during these challenging times can also make significant strides in:


Where is the employee benefits sector headed?

A “one-size-fits-all” approach to employee benefits will not be feasible due to the following workplace trends:

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
Rise of multigenerational workforce
Rise of multigenerational workforce
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

That’s where the sector’s latest trend comes in: flexible (or flex) benefits

Unlike traditional benefits (where all employees receive the same perks), flex benefits allow employees to choose from various benefit options to create a personalized benefits plan.

Neil Raymond

“I strongly believe flex is the future of employee benefits. If we look at the world's largest employee benefits market - the US - as an example, there is a clear trend towards employers offering flexibility.”

- Neil Raymond,
Founder and CEO of Pacific Prime

Flex benefits programs can be offered on a spectrum...

Mini Flex Programs
Mini Flex Programs

Employees receive core benefits as well as a ready-made e-wallet and flex spending account that can be spent on predefined options.

Increasing flexibility and complexity

Full Flex Programs
Full Flex Programs

Employees have access to a better e-wallet, along with the option to buy-up or sell-down their core benefits.

Aya Alimkulova

“For example, fresh graduate employees may not need such a high group term life coverage, so they can reduce the plan and use the cash generated from the downgrading for something that’s more meaningful for them - say, gym memberships. On the other hand, employees with families or those nearing retirement might want to upgrade their plan to increase group term life coverage and enhance their hospitalization coverage.”

- Aya Alimkulova,
Corporate Manager at Pacific Prime Singapore

Some advantages of flex benefits

  • Cost-sharing structure between employers and employees
  • Personalized benefits and, thereby, increased usage of benefits
  • Empowered employees who take charge of their health and wellbeing

Some disadvantages of flex benefits

  • Administrative complexities and workload of implementing a flex benefits program
  • Market maturity in certain countries/jurisdictions

A look at Asia’s flex benefits market


Japan Flag Korea Flag India Flag


China Flag Thailand Flag India Indonesia Philippines Flag


Hong Kong Flag Singapore Flag Malaysia Flag

Technology is the backbone of any successful flex benefits program

The administrative complexities and workload associated with a flex benefits program can be overcome using the right flex benefits technology.

A word about Pacific Prime’s technology-driven partnership

In February 2021, Pacific Prime acquired insurtech CXA Group’s brokerage arms in Hong Kong and Singapore, and incorporated the group’s industry-leading technology into our offerings for clients:

  • Integrated flex and wellness program and flex wallet, offering smooth and intuitive flex administration
  • Mobile app, offering exclusive features

Immerse yourself in Pacific Prime’s wealth of insurance resources