Study shows slight gain in number of employees signing up for voluntary benefits
- Close to one-third (28%) of employees in one study signed up for voluntary benefits during the last enrollment season, Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) reports.
- Average participation rates rose 7% overall from 21% in 2014, according to a Eastbridge Consulting Group study. Moreover, those rates have been steadily increasing during the past two to three years.
- According to Willis Towers Watson's 2016 "Voluntary Benefits and Services Survey," five of the fastest growing voluntary benefits offerings include long-term care, critical illness, pet insurance, identity theft and student loan repayment.
The uptick in voluntary benefits enrollment shows how important these offerings are to today's workers. Considering the sheer amount of cost involved in providing benefits packages, voluntary offerings are also a crucial strategic component for employers.
Voluntary benefits are also increasingly a recruiting tool. The average employee isn't likely to be 'wowed' by your latest healthcare plan, but the opportunity to finance critical illness coverage or protect against identity theft may prove to stand out in a job offer. That's especially true if you're able to work with your broker to tailor those offerings in a way that best appeals to your worker population.
That said, keep communication around the plans direct, but simple. Employees can easily become overwhelmed by their choices, and well-meaning benefits can quickly fall off their radar. If you're not already utilizing personal tech to deliver information to employees when they need it most, it's well past time to re-think your strategy.
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