Juggling a benefits budget while attracting and retaining talent can feel like a no-win situation. How can businesses stand out in a sea of employment opportunities without breaking the bank? A well-designed voluntary benefits package can help tackle the challenge. Typically paid for by employees through payroll deductions, voluntary benefits allow businesses to expand their benefits offerings and provide financial protection to employees. Employers have the flexibility to decide how these benefits are offered and funded while employees can choose the coverage that fits their unique needs.
Offering a well-designed voluntary benefits package not only attracts a diverse workforce, it also makes them feel supported. When employees feel cared for, they're more engaged, productive and likely to stay. In fact, 62% of employees say they are at least slightly more inclined to stay with their current employers because of their benefits while 39% are much more inclined to stay.1
There's a good reason that employees are feeling financially fragile — the cost of living is rising. Affording gasoline and transportation costs is now a top worry for Americans followed by unexpected medical bills.2 An emergency expense or lost income would overwhelm many Americans.
As high deductible health insurance plans (HDHPs) have become more popular in recent years, they have also become a double-edged sword for employees. Instead of saving money, many workers have delayed needed medical care because they feel like they can't afford the out-of-pocket expenses of a high deductible.
Voluntary benefits can expand an organization's benefits arsenal, offering financial protection to employees at a time when unexpected expenses are a constant concern.
Because voluntary benefits programs are often fully funded by employees via payroll deductions, businesses have complete control over how much they spend and what options they choose to add. Many voluntary benefits can be paid with pre-tax income, so employers can help their workers stretch their dollars even further. Another perk is that when employees purchase voluntary benefits through an employer group, it's often cheaper than buying individually.
Choosing a carrier or broker that offers technology solutions for small businesses can simplify benefits administration — many have online portals that make changing or updating their employees' benefits easy. Some carriers offer benefits enrollment and administration systems at no or low cost. Also look for flexible and convenient enrollment options like virtual, telephonic, in-person and online self-service.
Strengthen your business with our Voluntary benefits 101 guide and build a well-rounded benefits package that helps attract and retain skilled workers.
1 LIMRA, 2023 BEAT Study: Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker, 2023.
2 KFF, Health Care Debt Survey, 2022.
3 Unum, Survey of 1,000 Full-time U.S. Workers, November 2022.