Employee Benefits

Introduction to Voluntary Benefits

Many business owners now view "benefits" as part of the total compensation package, and see them as an important vehicle for building their company's identity as a desirable employer to work for. Employees, too, have changed their views about benefits and may be willing to compromise on salary or bonuses in order to get a complete benefits package that helps them meet their individual and family needs.

To that end, you may choose to offer benefits above and beyond those that are required by law or considered standard. These are called "voluntary benefits." Employees buy these benefits through your workplace and benefit from being able to receive them without being subject to underwriting. They also get the advantage of a group discount by purchasing them through the worksite.

Voluntary Benefits May Include:

  • Dental and vision programs
  • Healthy lifestyle programs, such as weight-loss classes, gym memberships, nutritional counseling
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Auto and homeowners insurance
  • Credit union memberships
  • Health and wellness programs (stress management, weight control, cholesterol screening, etc.)
  • On-site daycare or discounts at a local childcare center
  • Health savings accounts, such as HSAs or HRAs
  • Elder care services

As an employer, you may also save money by bundling these types of voluntary benefits programs in with your other benefits, such as group life or health insurance. Find out if your insurance company offers discounts or incentives for employers to purchase a package of voluntary benefits, and explore how offering a range of benefits for employees to choose from can help you attract and retain employees, as well as save money by bundling several products together.

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