Going through any merger and acquisition process is complex, and managing employee benefits is a critical aspect of ensuring a smooth transition while maintaining employee morale and productivity. Employee benefits can easily be overlooked during a business acquisition, but approaching them with a considered strategy can go a long way in providing employee confidence during a confusing time.


Communication is vital with any change management activity and is escalated during an acquisition period. Transparent communication keeps employees informed and more connected to the process. Share details about the acquisition, its implications and the time frames. Most importantly, create a channel for employees to ask questions and express their concerns about their benefits.

Legal and compliance

Examine existing benefit contracts and employment agreements to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Develop a clear plan to ensure that the benefits that are in place align with your own.

Due Diligence

Understand the acquired company's existing benefit plans, costs, and liabilities. Identify key talent who are vital to the success of the merged entity and consider retention incentives or benefits.

Culture & Morale

Consider how benefit changes may impact the culture and morale of both companies. Strive to create a unified and positive work environment. If changes that need to be made, ensure transparent communication is available to employees.


Assess the differences between your existing benefits and those of the acquired company, including superannuation plans, group insurance arrangements, leave entitlements, stock options, longevity of service as well as those other benefits that may fly under the radar such as birthday leave and others.

Employee Education

Host workshops and/or information sessions to educate all employees on new benefit plans or benefit enhancements. It is always good for employees to have one on one consults with your benefit specialists.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An EAP resource is always an added benefit during an acquisition or significant change as no doubt some employees may feel alienated by the process. Having this employee benefit can support those dealing with anxiety or stress.

Finally, consult with legal, HR, and benefit experts to navigate the complex employee benefits landscape during an acquisition. A well-executed benefits transition can contribute to a successful merger and more importantly the retention of your valuable talent.

How Gallagher can help

No matter the size of your business, our benefits services scale to fit your needs. If you're in the process of acquiring a new business and need support managing your employee benefits, we're a full-lifecycle employee benefit consultancy, trusted by employers of all kinds to help them build a better workplace. Talk to us today.

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The information and any advice in this article does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. When considering whether to acquire a financial product, before making any decision, you should obtain the relevant product disclosure statement.

This article may contain material provided by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. To the maximum extent permitted by law: no guarantee, representation or warranty is given that the information or advice in this newsletter is complete, accurate, up-to-date or fit for any purpose.