In 2020, we focused our efforts on how to best evolve our existing products and services and develop new ones to address the impact of COVID-19 on customers worldwide. Here are some of the highlights:
U.S.: New Resources Address Mounting Anxieties
In our 2020 open enrollment survey, we saw a significant shift in employee perspectives on the importance of annual benefits. Primarily, we found that more than half of those we surveyed were changing their approach to benefits due to the pandemic.
Given the critical role of benefits, and how employers can help people make better-informed decisions, especially heightened by the pandemic, we launched two websites. The first one included access to guidance on COVID-19-related financial issues, including cash flow issues, IRS taxpayer relief, government legislation, market volatility, and asset allocation. The second website included financial wellness information with lots of tips and advice for people struggling in their financial lives, especially during the pandemic. For customers with fewer than 500 employees, we launched a dedicated COVID-19 hotline operated by LifeWorks. Through the hotline, small business owners and their employees had free access to services such as immediate COVID-19-related emotional support, research, and referrals, along with guidance and resources to cope with COVID-19. MetLife Legal Plans also expanded access to its network of attorneys for small business customers, offering services such as free document review and consultation through July 2020 to all employees of employers who offered MetLife Legal Plans, regardless of whether the employee had previously enrolled in the benefit. Small business owners and their employees also had access to credentialed financial planners at no cost to them for 90 days.
SaverLife, a non-profit fintech organization that helps low-income working families achieve prosperity through savings, distributed $425,000 in cash grants from MetLife Foundation to their members, who used the funds to pay rent, bills, and save.