Employers are much more focused on worker needs than cost cutting when it comes to offering voluntary benefits.
According to a Prudential research brief released Monday, 75 percent of employers say their top reason for offering voluntary benefits is to expand the benefits options available to their employees, with 42 percent offering voluntary benefits to fulfill an employee need, and 30 percent offering them at their employees’ request.
The brief, "Gauging the Success of Voluntary Benefits" is the second in a series stemming from Prudential’s "Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond."
“Voluntary benefits have great value for both employers and employees. Unlike traditional health insurance paid for entirely or in part by employers, voluntary benefits typically are a cost-effective option for employers to provide,” said Jim Gemus, senior vice president of Prudential Group Insurance. “For employees, the benefits offer a convenient and affordable way to purchase life, disability, long-term care, dental and vision insurance, while offsetting the income-related risks of a disability, long-term illness or the death of the family member.”
What drives voluntary benefit purchases
Half (51 percent) of workers cited convenience as the most common advantage and driving factor in purchasing voluntary benefits because they pay for them through payroll deduction. This represents a a nine-point increase since the study was conducted in 2008.
Fifty-two percent of workers believe that offering voluntary benefits increases the value of their company’s offerings.
The link between voluntary benefits offerings and employee satisfaction
For employers, employee satisfaction is the top gauge of success (47 percent) followed by achieving a certain set participation rate (34 percent). Gemus noted, “Employees’ increasing interest and knowledge of their benefits options, combined with employers’ renewed focus on employee satisfaction is a win-win situation for all.”