As the new year begins, continuing economic pressures have enhanced the attractiveness of voluntary benefits for both employers and employees.
For human resource and benefits departments nationwide that are charged with creating an attractive benefits package while controlling costs, voluntary benefits provide an easy way to expand the array of benefits provided through the workplace. According to MetLife’s 9th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study, 61 percent of employees say they value voluntary benefits as a way to obtain benefits that meet their personal needs. Employees acknowledge that they save time and money when they can obtain these products through the workplace.
In environments where group legal plans have been available, the tough economic conditions have contributed to a surge in plan usage from 2005 - 2010. According to legal services usage tracked by MetLife’s Hyatt Legal Plans, in those five years employee usage of group legal plans doubled for home equity loans/refinancing and debt collection defense. Additionally, usage levels for debt matters increased 83 percent and bankruptcy proceedings increased 77 percent.
What other subtle benefits do group legal plans offer? The study also found that just 30 percent of employees who used a group legal plan reported taking vacation days toward resolving their legal issue, versus 50 percent who do not have a legal plan. In addition, employees who used a group legal plan resolved their issue in 4.4 weeks on average compared to 6.1 weeks for those who did not. Loyalty towards their employers is higher among those employees with access to group legal plans.