Worksite Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary Worksite Benefits

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What are voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefits are coverages and products made available to employees for elective purchase. These programs have four key characteristics:

  • 100 percent employee-paid
  • Offered through an employer
  • Solicited and enrolled through a carrier or enrollment firm
  • Paid through automatic payroll deductions.

Because of their cost efficiency and portability, as well as their contribution to an employee’s work–life balance, voluntary benefits are becoming a central component of many companies’ overall benefits strategies.

 

What are some common voluntary benefits?

  • Permanent life insurance
  • Disability income insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Supplemental health insurance
  • Long–term care insurance
  • Retiree medical insurance
  • Dental/vision insurance

Why should employers consider expanding their benefit offerings to include voluntary benefits?

  • Trends show employees have strong emotional appeal towards these benefits and have come to expect them
  • Usually there are no fees or costs for employers
  • They complement the goals of most corporate work/life programs
  • They offer easy implementation (most do not have legal and regulatory issues associated with insurance benefits)
  • They require little post-implementation administration or support

What are some specific advantages to offering voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefits appeal to both employer and employee needs.

Employers:

  • Increased expense control in the face of rising benefit costs
  • Cost-effective way to supplement benefit cuts or reductions
  • Important tools for attracting and retaining valued employees
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors (both in offerings and image)

Employees:

  • Opportunity to access a broader array of benefits
  • Freedom to choose benefits that best suit their needs
  • Affordable premiums (often deducted on a pretax basis)
  • Portable coverage
  • Easy enrollment process
  • More convenient and time-saving than buying on their own
  • Convenience of payroll deduction
  • No medical exams
  • More lenient underwriting requirements

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