Voluntary benefits are offered by employers but are paid completely or mostly by employees through payroll deferral. Traditional voluntary benefits include life insurance, vision, dental, disability, cancer and critical illness insurance, and accident insurance. You can offer voluntary benefits to employees at no direct cost to the company. Contrary to popular belief, companies don’t need to be large to offer them — some plans require an employer to have a minimum of just two to five employees to qualify and others have no minimum requirement. Here’s all you need to know about a voluntary benefits plan and what it can do for your employees and your business.
What are voluntary benefits?
Sometimes called supplemental insurance or employee-paid benefits, voluntary benefits are offered by employers through the workplace where employees can choose to purchase them in addition to the core employee benefits offered as part of a benefits package.
Payment options are typically flexible. To a companies budget, companies can choose whether voluntary employee benefits are:
* Fully employee-funded
* Part-funded by both employee and employer
In a Voluntary Benefits and Services (VBS) survey, The Olympus Agency highlighted four critical life needs that voluntary benefits fulfill:
* Health – typically helping employee well-being, while minimizing health risk at a reasonable cost
* Wealth accumulation – protecting income and assets
* Security – protecting survivors, vulnerable people or even people’s identities
* Personal – products that cover what’s important to the individual interests and needs of the person