Voluntary benefits take center stage in 2017
- Competitive employers are adding voluntary benefits to their benefits packages, says BenefitsPRO. Voluntary benefits are those that employees choose, purchase and customize based on their personal needs and lifestyles.
- BusinessPRO reports that several benefits trending for 2017 are customizable and non-traditional. Cybersecurity insurance, financial counseling services, eldercare, tuition assistance and identity-theft protection are classified as non-traditional, voluntary benefits.
- Customization is a major trend in voluntary benefits. Employers might think of offering benefits based on generational preferences. But generation-based benefits don’t account for individual preferences within the groups, says BusinessPRO. Instead, employers might consider individual lifestyles, financial needs, buying habits and other personal preferences in offering benefits.
Benefits packages can be costly, but employees pay most or all the cost of voluntary benefits. This might make these benefits easier for employers to offer.
BusinessPRO cites a Metlife study showing that the more voluntary benefits employers offer, the happier and more loyal employees are. Employers that offered 11 or more voluntary benefits had the happiest workers. A benefits package with several offerings can attract job candidates and increase employee retention.
Adding more options isn't enough to improve employee usage of benefits, however. HR departments should consistently prioritize benefits education, especially given the majority of employees overestimate their knowledge of company perks.