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The Appeal of Voluntary Employee Benefits

By:  Carolyn Robbins, HIA, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company

According to a recent study by the world’s leading insurance and financial services trade association, LIMRA, “7 in 10 employers offer voluntary benefits to improve morale for their existing employees and to attract and retain new talent”.  The study included 1,321 employee benefit decision makers for firms with 10 or more employees.

Employers are being faced with escalating premiums on their traditional health insurance plans.   In many cases, employers have had to reduce those benefits. Now they must look for other ways to enhance their overall benefit package to retain their employees and to help them attract new employees.   Voluntary benefits allow them to do so without increasing employer costs.

In addition to enabling employers to present a more robust benefit package, offering voluntary benefits can provide employees the opportunity to purchase only insurance coverages and benefits that they need.  Additionally, they can be purchased conveniently through payroll deductions and knowing that their employer has done some of the research for them.  Furthermore, in many cases the benefits cost less than they might if purchased outside the employer setting.

Finally, offering voluntary benefits gives employers the opportunity to provide benefits that will appeal to employees who may be in different phases of their lives.  Younger employees may want accident benefits, wellness programs or tuition assistance.  Those a bit older may choose disability insurance, life insurance, vision benefits or long term care coverage.  Regardless, the employer gets the credit for making the plans available to the employees and allowing them to choose the benefits that suit their needs.

Information about the Author:  Carolyn Robbins has been in the insurance industry helping employers design and maintain their employee benefit plans for almost 27 years.  She began her career at Prudential Insurance Company as a Group Insurance Representative later becoming an Insurance Consultant and Vice President at Patterson/Smith Associates and USI Insurance Services.  She joined Insurance Associates, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company as a Benefits Consultant in 2005.  Carolyn enjoys working with employers to develop a benefit package that fits their unique culture and budgetary goals.  Carolyn is located in our Fairfax Office.

Source: http://www.limra.com/posts/PR/News_Releases/LIMRA_Study_Finds_Employers_Interested_in_Offering_Voluntary_Benefits.aspx [1]