Voluntary benefits are increasingly seen by employers as an affordable way to fill gaps in benefit programs. In fact, 48 percent of employers in a recent Towers Watson survey said voluntary benefits will be an important part of their benefit packages over the next five years. An Employee Benefit Adviser article on July 2, 2014, outlined four factors that play a critical role in the success of an employer’s voluntary benefit participation, according to ARAG.

1. Have a single enrollment period for both core and voluntary benefits.

Most employers choose to separate core enrollment from voluntary enrollment. However, according to the article, research shows that enrolling in all benefits at one time can result in six times higher participation.

2. Offer payroll deduction.

Voluntary benefits that can be paid for with payroll deduction have five times the participation of benefits that use direct pay, according to the article.

3. Communicate early and often.

Voluntary benefits supported by a strong communication plan, featuring messages that are both early in the process and frequent, result in four times higher participation.

4. Demonstrate support.

Employers showing their support of a benefit, either by offering onsite meetings, personalized emails, or testimonial, have the highest impact on participation with rates nearly 10 times higher.

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