In a recent article in Human Resources Executive, Prudential Group Insurance Chief Marketing Officer Jean Wiskowski discusses the role of voluntary benefits from both the employer and employee perspective, based on her company’s latest research, the Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond.

Some of the key findings from the research include:

  1. Benefits strategies have become a larger focus for businesses over the past two years, going up 17 percent since 2010.  By offering voluntary benefits, employers are able to maintain a competitive suite of benefits for employees with little or no cost to them, and 40 percent of employers strongly agree that offering voluntary benefits has had an impact on their employees’ satisfaction with their benefits program.
  2. The majority of employees indicate that voluntary benefits offer major advantages.  More than two-fifths of employees surveyed see major advantages to being offered voluntary benefits. And, 48 percent of employees indicated they value the accessibility of these products and the ability to pay through payroll deductions.
  3. One in three respondents said they would find it disruptive to lose their voluntary benefits. Employees find that voluntary benefits save time and money, and provide economic security and financial peace of mind. Having access to these types of benefits boosts impressions, with more than one in four (26 percent) saying “my employer has my interests at heart and cares about my well-being.”
  4. Company name is also growing in importance. Compared to last year, more employees are paying attention to the insurance company or companies offering voluntary benefits. Sixty-two percent say the company is very important to them when they are considering voluntary benefits. In fact, more than two out of five employees (42 percent) who reported receiving only one voluntary benefit through their employer know the name of that insurance company, up from 35 percent in 2011. And, for employers who offer two or more voluntary benefits, three-fourths (73 percent) of their employees know at least some of the carrier names, up from 69 percent in 2011.


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