Do more (for less) with voluntary benefits
During times of economic uncertainty, employers may be tempted to scale back employee benefits. But many organizations are actually doing the opposite.
According to a recent study, 60 percent of employers are considering adding a new insurance benefit over the next two years (about twice as much interest as there was five years ago). The top benefits that they are planning to add include disability insurance (both short-term and long-term), vision care benefits, dental insurance and life insurance.
Because these top voluntary benefits are typically partially or 100 percent employee paid, employers can pass some or all of the cost to their employees. This can help employers attract and retain top talent while balancing cost and coverage.
To further ease the financial burden, employers may be able to take advantage of benefits-related tax deductions. Certain voluntary benefits can also be deducted from an employee’s paycheck pre-tax, which can help lower the employee’s taxable income and the employer’s payroll taxes. This can be a win-win for both the organization and its employees.
Voluntary benefits can be especially valuable for small businesses, allowing them to offer more attractive benefits packages and compete with larger organizations that have bigger budgets for salaries.
For employees, voluntary benefits can provide income protection in an uncertain economy and help fill in gaps that are not covered by their core health insurance plan. Voluntary benefits offered through an employer are also typically more affordable than what employees would pay as individuals for similar coverage.