MetLife Inc. announced that in light of tax reform, the company will increase the investment it makes in its employees. The company will strengthen financial security for U.S. employees by increasing the minimum wage it pays, enhancing benefits, and boosting contributions to retirement plans. It will also create a new $10 million skills development fund to help its employees around the world upgrade their workplace skills.
“As a result of tax reform, we are making a significant investment in our employees. We are enhancing pay and benefit programs and helping them develop skills that will make them more valuable members of our team,” said Chairman, President and CEO Steven A. Kandarian. “We are investing in their future and strengthening their long-term financial security with structural improvements that will endure. We are also channeling most of the benefits to employees at the lower end of the compensation spectrum.”
To help the company’s global workforce identify and acquire the skills needed to compete in the 21st century digital workplace, MetLife is establishing a Workforce of the Future Development Fund. The company will invest $10 million to accelerate a culture of learning and innovation.
For all eligible U.S. employees, MetLife’s enhanced programs include:
- Establishing a company minimum wage of $15 an hour, well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
- Establishing a minimum MetLife-provided group life insurance benefit of $75,000, regardless of the employee’s pay. Previously, the benefit was set at one times annual pay.
- Introducing a $300 minimum monthly credit for the cash-balance formula of the company’s defined benefit pension plan, also regardless of the employee’s pay. MetLife is one of a limited number of Fortune 50 companies that continues to provide its employees with both a defined benefit pension plan and a defined contribution plan to help them build secure retirements.
- Enhancing the 401(k) plan design by moving to auto-enrollment for employee contributions and immediate eligibility for, and vesting in, employer matching contributions. This is scheduled to take effect in 2019.
- Extending company-paid group legal services offered through MetLife’s Hyatt Legal Plans. Currently approximately one third of MetLife employees in the United States are enrolled in this voluntary benefit. With this change, legal services will be provided to MetLife’s 18,000 employees in the United States at the company’s expense.