A major trend in Human Resource in 2014 is the expanding role voluntary benefits are filling in employee benefits packages. Voluntary benefits are insurance products that a company offers their employees of their own accord, not because it is required by law, which allows employees to obtain these insurances at rates lower than they could on their own. Voluntary benefits can include dental, life, vision, prescription, accidental death and dismemberment, short-term disability, cancer, supplemental health, and pet insurance, as well as identity theft protection policies. According to a white paper on voluntary benefits compiled by Prudential, offering these benefits to employees offers several advantages to employers.
- It is a cost effective way to increase your employee benefit offerings. In a survey conducted by Prudential, 51% of employers said their voluntary benefits helped them stay competitive with the programs offered by their peers at little to no additional cost.
- It helps protect larger investments. Employers already invest substantial amounts of money in employee retirement and health care benefits, and voluntary benefits can help support these investments. For example, an employee with disability insurance would have the supplemental income they needed during a period of lost work, without having to drain funds from their retirement account.
- Voluntary benefits can save employers on expenses associated with employee absences. Disability insurance companies generally offer “return to work” programs for those who are out of the office due to disability which will lower the cost of replacing or retraining those individuals.
- You will have happier, healthier employees. Regular eye exams can help with early detection of high blood pressure, glaucoma, and diabetes, while good oral hygiene can be directly linked to preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Employees who have vision and dental insurance are much more likely to visit their doctors for preventative care to maintain their good health.