The Benefits of Offering Voluntary Benefits to Employees

Well-rounded benefits are crucial not only for thriving organizations but for the employees they serve. A recent study revealed that 78% of employees express greater job satisfaction when they have comprehensive benefit options.


As HR professionals, understanding the nuances and advantages of voluntary benefits is crucial. This article explores the diverse world of voluntary benefits, shedding light on how they can enhance your employee benefits administration.


We’ll delve into what these benefits entail, the different types that exist, and their significance for both employees and employers, guiding you toward better benefit administration strategies.


Let’s start with the basics.


What Are Voluntary Benefits?


Voluntary benefits, often called consumer-directed benefits, are elective, typically employee-paid benefits complementing core employee benefits packages. Unlike standard benefits like health insurance or retirement accounts provided by employers, these are often customizable and cover a wide range of personal needs and preferences.


This flexibility makes voluntary benefits a key aspect of a successful and comprehensive employee benefits strategy. They not only offer additional security and convenience to employees but also enhance the overall value of benefits administration.


Types of Voluntary Benefits


In the evolving landscape of employee benefits, voluntary benefits stand out for their adaptability and range. Offering these benefits allows employees to personalize their coverage, meeting unique lifestyle and financial needs.


When assessing the types of voluntary benefits, you can place them into two key categories: standard (or more common) and trending.


  • More Common Voluntary Benefits:
    • Life Insurance: Essential for financial security, offering peace of mind to employees.
    • Accident/Critical Illness Insurance: Provides additional coverage in cases of severe health emergencies.
    • Disability: Offers income protection to employees unable to work due to illness or injury.
    • Vision and Dental: These benefits cover healthcare aspects often excluded from basic health plans.
    • Health Savings Account (HSA)Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA): These accounts offer tax advantages for healthcare expenses.
  • Trending Voluntary Benefits on the Rise:
    • Commuter Benefits: Assistance with transportation costs, increasingly relevant in urban areas.
    • Dependent Care and Child Care: Crucial for employees with families, enhancing work-life balance.
    • Pet Insurance: Acknowledges the importance of pets in employees' lives.
    • Student Loan Repayment: A growing concern for many employees, offering financial relief.
    • Wellness/Gym Memberships: These benefits address overall well-being, including physical fitness and nutrition.
    • Financial Counseling: Financial health is just as important as physical health. These benefits help offer added peace of mind.
    • Gender-Affirming Care: Reflects a commitment to diversity, health equity, and inclusion in the workplace.


All of these benefits offer unique advantages for both employees and employers. Let’s take a deeper look at exactly how both groups benefit.


The Benefits of Voluntary Benefits


Understanding the dual impact of voluntary benefits is essential for effective benefit administration. These benefits not only cater to diverse employee needs but also bolster your organization's appeal and culture.


Let's explore how they benefit both employees and employers:


  • For Employees:
    • Improved Coverage Options: Employees appreciate the ability to tailor their benefits according to personal needs, enhancing their satisfaction with the employee benefits package.
    • Enhanced Financial Security: Additional coverage areas like accident or critical illness insurance offer employees peace of mind.
    • Increased Job Satisfaction: Access to a wide range of benefits contributes to a more engaged and content workforce.
  • For Employers:
    • Attract and Retain Top Talent: Offering a broad spectrum of voluntary benefits makes your organization more attractive to potential and current employees.
    • Boost Employee Satisfaction: Satisfied employees are more productive and committed, contributing positively to the organizational culture.
    • Enhance Corporate Culture: A robust benefits package reflects a caring and inclusive workplace culture, setting your organization on a path toward success.


The benefits of voluntary benefits extend far beyond these lists. But, the key to a successful benefits package is knowing how to combine them all together into a plan that works for employees–and won’t stress out the HR team (too much).


Take a look at these tips to help you select the right voluntary benefits.


Tips for Ensuring Your Voluntary Benefits Make an Impact


To effectively integrate voluntary benefits into your employee benefits strategy, it's important to follow best practices. Use these tips to help ensure that your voluntary benefits offerings are not just comprehensive but also impactful and well-received by employees.


  1. Survey Your Employees: Understand their needs and preferences to offer relevant benefits.
  2. Simplify Communications: Clear and concise information helps employees understand and utilize their benefits effectively.
  3. Work with a Trusted Third-Party Administrator: A reliable partner in benefits administration ensures seamless integration and management of diverse benefits, making the process smoother for both HR professionals and employees.


Elevate Workplace Well-Being with Comprehensive Benefits


Voluntary benefits are more than additional perks. They represent a commitment to employee satisfaction and well-being. By carefully selecting and managing these benefits, HR professionals can significantly enhance the employee experience.


Remember, the key is not just offering these benefits but ensuring they align with employee needs and are communicated effectively.


For further guidance on building and managing a robust voluntary benefits package, feel free to reach out to our team. We are dedicated to assisting you in creating a workplace where every employee feels valued and supported.