Employers now consider voluntary benefits as a way to increase their benefit offering without increasing bottom line costs to the employer.

Voluntary benefits are in addition to the core medical, dental and life insurance benefits employers traditionally offer to employees. They can be a cost-efficient way to provide additional coverage to employees, who can purchase these plans through their employer at a lower, group rate.

Newly released findings from Willis Towers Watson’s 2018 Emerging Trends: Voluntary Benefits and Services Survey of large employers show that:

  • Only a handful of respondents (5 percent) say voluntary benefits will have little importance to the value they offer employees through their total rewards strategy. Five years ago, 41 percent of employers said voluntary benefits would have little importance.
  • More than two-thirds of employers (69 percent) believe voluntary benefits will be a very or more-important component of their total rewards strategy in three to five years.

The survey was conducted in November 2017, with responses from 336 large U.S. employers representing more than 4.3 million employees. Eighty percent of the respondents have more than 1,000 employees.

The key to a success voluntary benefits offering is proper communication to employees. The more the employee know about these plans, the more they value them and the greater chance they will enroll in voluntary coverage.