Many workers will have the opportunity to elect employee benefits for 2013 this fall during their employers’ annual enrollment season. Workers in Dallas indicate they are hoping to have more voluntary benefits to choose from. In fact, a MetLife Texas Benefits Election Poll, released today, found that 71% of Dallas workers are interested in a wider array of voluntary benefits to choose from even if they pay for the benefits themselves – even higher than the 62% of employees nationally who expressed this interest. Benefits can also have an effect on how far an individual is willing to travel to an employer. The MetLife poll found that Dallas workers are willing to nearly double their commuting time to work for an employer offering the benefits they most want. Those surveyed expressed a willingness to increase their commuting time, on average, by 22 minutes on top of a 25- minute average commuting time already. “Employees recognize the value of having access to more benefits options regardless of who pays for them. To have people willingly increase their commute time to obtain the benefits they find important is very compelling,” said Paul Michael, vice president, Group, Voluntary & Worksite Sales for MetLife in Dallas. “Employers can cost-effectively make themselves more attractive as an employer of choice through the strategic use of voluntary benefits.” The annual benefits enrollment season is a once-a-year opportunity for employees to maximize their total compensation package by selecting benefits options that meet their specific needs. However, the MetLife poll also found that approximately two out of five Dallas workers don’t feel very confident that they will make the right financial decisions for themselves and their families this year. A simple step in the right direction, spending more time reading employers’ benefits materials, can make a difference. MetLife national research found a positive correlation between reading benefits materials and feeling confident about decisions. Employers often change or add offerings, so it is also beneficial to read enrollment materials to confirm whether the current selections remain the most appropriate.