By Ayo Mseka
Although many companies continue to tighten their financial belts, when it comes to voluntary benefits, employers are more employee focused, as opposed to cost driven.
Gauging the Success of Voluntary Benefits, the second in a series of research briefs stemming from Prudential’s Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond, found that 75 percent of employers say their top reason for offering voluntary benefits is to expand the benefits options available to their employees, with 42 percent offering voluntary benefits to fulfill an employee need, and 30 percent offering them at their employees’ request.
Eighty-five percent of employers say they offer one or more voluntary benefits including life insurance (63%), disability insurance (56%), and dental insurance (52%).
“Voluntary benefits have great value for both employers and employees. Unlike traditional health insurance paid for entirely or in part by employers, voluntary benefits typically are a cost-effective option for employers to provide,” says Jim Gemus, senior vice president of Prudential Group Insurance. “For employees, the benefits offer a convenient and affordable way to purchase life, disability, long-term care, dental and vision insurance, while offsetting the income-related risks of a disability, long-term illness or the death of the family member.
Employees increasingly view the workplace as an important source for personal insurance and savings products. Half of the workers surveyed cited convenience as the most common advantage and the driving factor in buying voluntary benefits because they pay for them through payroll deduction. This represents a nine-point increase since the study was conducted in 2008.
Gauging the Success of Voluntary Benefits is the second in a series of five research briefs that highlight the major findings from Prudential’s Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond. The research was conducted via the internet during April and May of 2011, and consisted of three surveys of plan sponsors, plan participants, and broker/consultant audiences.
For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com.