- Voluntary benefits are optional services provided by employers, complementing basic benefits.
- Voluntary benefits enhance a comprehensive benefits program, allowing employees to customize their plans based on personal needs.
- Many employees are unaware of their company’s benefits. Communication strategies are vital to educate employees about available benefits and access.
- LL Roberts Group is an outstanding partner for businesses seeking scalable solutions. Our comprehensive services, demonstrate commitment to client needs since 1989. Contact us to get started!
The benefits companies offer are among the most important factors to consider when applying for a job and then considering staying there.
Some basic benefits include a health plan, paid time off, and sick leave. Still, some employers offer attractive extra benefits that workers can take optionally. These voluntary benefits are usually very attractive to employees, and their cost is paid jointly between employee and employer. In this blog, you will learn everything you need about voluntary benefits to make your company a better workplace.
What Are Voluntary Benefits?
Voluntary benefits are services and/or goods that an employer offers employees other than the company’s basic benefits. These benefits are optional, and employees can decide whether they take them or not. Unlike basic benefits, these benefits must be paid partially or entirely by the employee as a payroll deduction. Voluntary benefits complement traditional benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.).
The costs of these benefits are relatively low, depending on the plan offered by the employer. Many of these benefits cost less than $100 a month. Other benefits have higher costs, such as critical illness insurance or financial planning services, since they depend on other conditions and are subject to different regulations.
Voluntary benefits may also be called employee-paid benefits or supplemental insurance.
Examples of Voluntary Benefits
Voluntary benefits tend to be varied in nature and offer benefits that enhance the employee’s core benefits or quality of life. Some examples of benefits that you can find in a voluntary benefits plan are:
- Life Insurance: Provides a monetary benefit to a decedent’s family or other designated beneficiary upon the insured person’s death.
- Pet Insurance: Helps cover the cost of veterinary care for pets.
- Critical Illness Insurance: Pays out a lump sum if an employee is diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses listed in the policy.
- Vision Insurance: Covers services related to the care and treatment of the eyes.
- Identity Theft Protection: Provides monitoring services and recovery assistance if identity theft occurs.
- Student Loan Assistance: Employers may contribute to repaying an employee’s student loans.
- Gym memberships: Offers discounts on monthly gym membership payments.
There are many other benefits, but the offer depends on the company, such as discounts when renting a car, assistance in caring for the elderly or children, flexible schedules, etc.
The Role of Voluntary Benefits in a Benefits Program
The company’s benefits program aims to encourage employee retention and improve their quality of life. Voluntary benefit plans are offered to further enhance the benefits offered by basic plans.
In a comprehensive benefits program, optional benefits play an important role, especially because voluntary benefits are cost-efficient for companies since employees pay partially or fully for these benefits. For employees, a varied offering of these benefits means the possibility of customizing them according to employee needs. For example, someone without a pet will not use a pet insurance benefit but may be interested in a gym membership, and someone with glasses will probably choose to have vision insurance.
Voluntary benefits make employees feel that their company cares about their well-being and helps build commitment. They also improve employee attraction and retention, which, in the end, helps the general well-being of the company.
Employee Perspective: How Voluntary Benefits Enhance Compensation
The numbers don’t lie: 76% of employees report that voluntary benefits impact their employer’s ability to retain them. This means that optional benefits really play an essential role when choosing an employer and staying with them.
Likewise, benefit plans play a crucial role for employees looking for a new job. 35% of employees actively looking for a new job are looking for companies that offer attractive benefits. That number rises to 44% for millennials, the largest generation in the workforce, mainly because these benefits provide better value than buying similar services privately.
On the other hand, companies must also consider that when designing their benefit plans, they cannot consider their workforce homogeneous. Currently, there are 4 generations in the workforce, and each of them has different priorities and interests when it comes to voluntary benefits. For example, workers under 40 (millennials) place higher priority on day-to-day savings and family-building benefits, while employees under age 25 (Gen Z) are more likely to want assistance with mental health issues.
Voluntary benefits embody the philosophy that employee benefits should be as diverse as the workforce they serve, acknowledging that one size does not fit all.
This information is vital for companies as it can help them create a more complete voluntary benefits plan that accommodates all their employees in a way that promotes retention across all age groups. However, it must be considered that many employees still don’t know what benefits their company offers and how to access them. Therefore, it is important to have a good communication strategy in this regard and constantly reinforce it.
Employer Perspective: Strategic Advantages of Voluntary Benefits
According to Buck‘s 2022 Well-being and Voluntary Benefits Survey, since 2020, more than half of employers have increased the offering of their voluntary benefits plans after realizing the impact they have on their employee satisfaction and the ability to hire and retain talent.
This number has continued to increase; today, the average employer offers 12 or more programs, and 97% of employers offer at least one voluntary benefit, compared to 88% doing so in 2020. This number is likely to increase as employers know that younger generations are interested in different benefits and are trying to have a more holistic benefits plan.
In general, for employers, benefit plans offer considerable competitive advantages and strategies at a reasonably low cost. Therefore, they are an excellent opportunity for the company’s growth, and we are willing to invest in them and improve their range.
The challenge for employers now is understanding the workforce’s needs, developing a benefits package including voluntary benefits that meet those needs, and communicating them effectively.
LL Roberts Group: Supporting Your Business with Services that Scale
Finding an ally that meets your company’s needs is not so simple. At LL Roberts Group, we stand out as an exceptional partner for companies looking for scalable solutions due to our comprehensive set of services that adapt to their needs.
With a robust human resource management system, we provide end-to-end support throughout the entire employee lifecycle. The inclusion of voluntary benefits, ranging from traditional offerings like health and retirement plans to unique options like pet insurance and identity theft protection through its partnership with Vensure Employer Services, shows our commitment to our clients so they can offer customizable, employee-focused packages.
With a proven track record since 1989, we excel in customizing services, ensuring that your company receives the flexibility and scalability necessary for sustained growth. Contact us today and find the right fit for your business!
Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions for Your Workforce
Voluntary benefits are so important to employees that 94% of employers say they are a key part of their employee recruitment strategy.
Having a voluntary benefits plan makes a big difference in how your company relates to its employees, so choosing a provider consciously is very important and can affect your business considerably.