Some things tend to stick in the mind.

Like the lyrics to the song you played on repeat the first summer you were in love. Or, on the flip side, the not-so-sweet thing you overheard a co-worker say about the sound you make when you sneeze.

However, for better or worse, most of us forget far more than we remember. Things like Internet passwords, basic recipes, how exactly to use the old coffee machine at our new job and employee benefits information.

Yes, employees – even the fantastic, intelligent ones where you work – forget a whole lot of what they learn about some pretty basic aspects of their benefits during orientation. And if the research of ‘Working With Words’ authors Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman can be believed, 80 percent of what we all forget will fly out of our ears within 24 hours of us first learning it. For our purposes here, we’ll call this phenomenon, as it applies to benefits communication, ‘benefits information amnesia.’

Though benefits information amnesia might not be listed in the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,’ it’s a real thing. There are three strains of this common but underappreciated problem: plan amnesia, resource amnesia and options and details amnesia.

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