If anyone still wonders whether voluntary benefits will continue to gain traction in the marketplace, no need for concern. Simply ask a few of the  three quarters of a million U.S. employers  who offer a voluntary option to some  90 million employees* about the broadening embrace of voluntary benefits. More than half of workers surveyed in MetLife's 10th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends reported they were interested in having a wider array of voluntary benefits which they could purchase and pay for.

Despite the clear popularity of benefits which employees pay for wholly or in part, though, there is plenty of room for a stronger presence of these products on the benefits menu. Only 19% of employers surveyed in the Employee Benefits Trends Study planned to increase the number of voluntary benefits offered in the next 18 months, and participation rates often are not where employers want them to be.

At the same time as employees express strong interest in voluntary benefits, they also indicate that they want benefits that fit their specific needs. Almost three-fourths (73%) of employees surveyed wanted more personalized benefits geared to their age group. The same percentage wanted a greater variety of benefits to choose from, and 74% were looking for more personalized benefits geared to their individual circumstances.

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