- Identity theft protection is emerging as a vital employee benefit, a new survey shows. According to the IdentityForce Progressive Benefits Survey, 68% of HR professionals say identity theft benefits are growing in importance.
- Additionally, 67.5% of HR executives are looking for or evaluating identity theft coverage as an employee perk that allows them to compete in hiring and retaining professional talent. Survey results show that HR and IT are teaming up to provide protection against identity theft in the workplace, with HR taking the lead in that effort (66.2%), followed by IT (63.4%).
- Just half of the respondents currently offer identity theft benefits. About 56% cite the need to provide identity theft coverage as extra protection against an organization-wide cyber attack or data breach.
Identity theft coverage stands out from other benefits offerings because of the critical need to shield employees' personal and financial information from cyber theft. Widespread data breaches, like those seen in the spread of WannaCry ransomware in May and, more recently, the Equifax security breach, will only drive up the need for cyber protection.
Benefits generally are expensive to provide, but the advantage of voluntary benefits for employers is that employees pay for most or all of the coverage. A Benefits Pro survey released in July found that most employees — as much as 83% — would enroll in a voluntary benefits program without expecting their employer to pay for it.
According to a Metlife study, the more voluntary benefits employers sponsor, the more loyal and happier employees are. Employers offering more than 11 voluntary benefits reportedly have the happiest employees. Based on that finding, employers who haven't yet offered identity theft protection should consider doing so to lower workers' risk against ID theft and to attract and retain talent. 2017 may well go down as the year voluntary benefits took center stage in HR.
That said, there's speculation among some benefits product specialists that offering too many voluntary benefits can overwhelm employees. Prioritizing benefits and rolling them out incrementally might help reduce employees' confusion — something to keep in mind as open enrollment season unfolds.