Voluntary Benefits Plans: What Can We Expect for the Future?

Voluntary Benefits Plans: What Can We Expect for the Future?

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A Projected Look Into Voluntary Benefits Plans

Currently, in the workforce there are five generations providing labor and support. A decade ago there were only three or four generations in the office. The increase in age ranges directly translates to an increase in the variety of needs to be met by voluntary benefits offerings.

The modern term for voluntary benefits plans is “enhanced employee-funded benefits.” As a strategy around recruitment and retention, these benefits that employees pay for on their own need to be flexible and varied in order to serve the company well. When they are well-structured and presented to employees with confidence flexible voluntary benefits can boost the company’s reputation.

With staff working from various locations and some traveling on a regular basis, voluntary benefits must cater to geographic matters.

Employees across the country can take advantage of the flexibility of voluntary benefits in many ways. For example:

  • Automobile gap insurance if in an accident that ‘totals’ the vehicle while traveling for work
  • Health and fitness memberships at branches out-of-state
  • Paying for emergency dental crown work with a flexible spending account while on vacation

Benefits professionals are being called on in an ever-increasing manner to help with employee retention. Attracting and retaining talent has become a top objective when planning benefits packages. Accommodating an individual’s life goals and personal interests has become a part of retaining employees when they are considering leaving for another company. Highly customized voluntary benefits plans might include:

  • Critical illness
  • Accident
  • Prepaid legal services
  • Commuter benefits
  • Identity theft protection
  • Telemedicine
  • Wellness center membership assistance

Technology can help with videos, webinars, and generally explaining the options in user-friendly self-paced scenarios.

Fortunately rolling out and offering voluntary benefits can be done within the platforms used for annual open enrollment. Companies sometimes allow employees to use company computers and paid work time to enroll in benefits.

When you look at the cost-benefit to rolling-out voluntary benefits, consider the bang for your buck. Employees often perceive benefits to be more costly than they really are. In line with this thinking consider offering employees an increase in employer-funded benefits in lieu of a raise, and see if you could create a win-win for yourself and your employees.

Recognize that with five generations in the workforce employees will appreciate options for learning about the coverage being offered. Contact BenefEx to discuss creating a robust voluntary benefits plan for your team.