Monday, 16 January 2023 10:22

What are Voluntary Benefits?

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Employers typically offer basic benefits packages to all full-time employees. Beyond these basic benefits, however, some companies allow their employees to opt in to some additional benefits, known as voluntary benefits. There are many examples, but some of the most common voluntary benefits include life insurance, gym memberships (or discounts), and vision or dental insurance.

Why Offer Voluntary Benefits?

Offering voluntary benefits can be a win-win, providing advantages to employer and employee alike. Consider some of the reasons why voluntary benefits can be so beneficial.

  • Voluntary benefits demonstrate a commitment to workplace wellness. Even if some employees choose not to volunteer for, say, a discounted gym membership, offering it is one way to make good on your promise of a health-conscious company culture. And when employees do opt in, they tend to be healthier, happier, and more energetic in the workplace.
  • Voluntary benefits can increase job satisfaction. Offering voluntary benefits is an important way to show employees that you value them, which can in turn increase employee loyalty. Certainly, offering benefits like financial counseling or gym memberships demonstrates a holistic view of the employee; it shows that you really see them as people, not just corporate assets.
  • Voluntary benefits can help you attract top talent. Looking for a competitive edge in the labor market? Provide optional benefits that can help employees bridge insurance gaps, meet personal and professional goals, or reduce their level of stress. Such benefits can really help make your company stand apart.
  • Voluntary benefits make financial sense. It’s typical for employees to pay for their voluntary benefits, either in part or in full, which means a manageable financial burden for the employer. But because they are paid for with pre-tax income, it also yields financial savings for employees. Again, voluntary benefits can be structured as real win-wins!

What Types of Voluntary Benefits Should Your Company Offer?

There are a number of ways to assess which voluntary benefits would be most useful for your employee base, but our recommendation is to go directly to your workers to ask them what they’d like to see. Employee surveys can be invaluable here.

Some types of voluntary benefits to consider include:

  • Life insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Identity theft protection
  • Financial counseling
  • Gym memberships

Get Started with a Voluntary Benefits Offering

Ready to add voluntary benefits to your basic package? We’d love to walk you through some options, and to help you develop some ideas that will help you reach your HR goals. Reach out to FullHR whenever you’re ready to chat.

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