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Prudential Financial Inc : Prudential Finds Employer-Sponsored Return to Work Programs Reduce Costs and Boost Productivity

05/22/2012 | 09:05am US/Eastern

White Paper Points to the Value of Focusing on Employees' Capabilities Rather than Disabilities

The economic climate of the last few years has compelled employers to do more with less in all areas of their business. Having and keeping experienced, productive workers on the job is key to meeting this challenge. A new report issued by Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), shows that by providing the right kinds of support to employees, extended disability absences can be shortened.

According to the white paper, entitled Controlling the Uncontrollable, successful Return to Work programs pro-actively help disabled employees get back on the job, either in the same or a modified capacity, and in doing so demonstrate to absent employees that they are seen as valued members of the team. At the same time, the employer's direct and indirect costs of absence are reduced.

The paper acknowledges that while many employers have components of Return to Work programs in place they aren't achieving the full cost and productivity savings potential from a fully integrated program. "Employers would do well to assess where they are on the Return to Work continuum and determine what next steps they can and should take," notes Jim Porter, vice president, Product Development, Disability Product Management for Prudential's Group Insurance business. "The key to a successful program is the ability to track, validate and report absences. The more data employers have the greater their ability to take preventative measures that will positively impact their bottom line."

In 2007, roughly two in five (39%) plan sponsors said they were involved in Return to Work initiatives to some extent. Since then, such programs have enjoyed moderate growth and today 45% currently use Return to Work initiatives. Despite the compelling benefits of implementing a formal program, many employers still worry about things like the cost and necessary resource allocation, negative employee reactions and the perceived permanence of light-duty accommodations. "What they don't realize is that employees also benefit from Return to Work in a way that focuses on what they can do rather than can't do, with the structure to support that transition," continues Porter. "These programs give disabled employees the opportunity to retain job skills and bring their income closer to pre-disability levels. Getting back to work sooner increases the morale not only of the affected employee but also of his or her co workers."

Prudential's white paper offers an overview of Return to Work programs for benefit decision makers including defining common terminology, identifying potential cost and productivity savings and enumerating the benefits for both employees and employers while debunking common misconceptions about such programs.

For the full report, Controlling the Uncontrollable, visit www.prudential.com.

Prudential Group Insurance manufactures and distributes a full range of group life, long-term and short-term disability, long-term care, dental, and corporate and trust-owned life insurance in the U.S. to institutional clients primarily for use in connection with employee and membership benefits plans. The business also sells accidental death and dismemberment, and other ancillary coverages and provides plan administrative services in connection with its insurance coverages.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/

Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.

Group coverages issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, 751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ.


Prudential Financial, Inc.
Sheila Bridgeforth, 973-802-6852

© Business Wire 2012
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