U.S. employers offering voluntary benefits, perks to supplement traditional plans

Accident insurance top voluntary benefit: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/03/2012

With slow economic growth and minimal pay increase budgets to work with, employers are offering voluntary benefits to boost the value of their company’s traditional benefits plan, found a recent survey.

One-half (49.6 per cent) of organizations offer accident insurance to employees as a voluntary benefit, found the Compdata Surveys Benefits USA 2012/2013 survey which analyzed data from 4,500 benefit plans covering 13 million employees.

More than one-third of employers offer cancer care as a voluntary benefit, while 28.4 per cent offer legal assistance. Universal life insurance is offered at 25.2 per cent of companies. Some employers also offer parking perks (11.3 per cent) and pet insurance (9.4 per cent).

“Offering voluntary benefits is a great way to enhance a company’s benefits package. The key is to find out which benefits are most important to your staff and work from there,” said Amy Kaminski, vice-president at Compdata Surveys. “Most voluntary benefits cost employers little to nothing to offer, yet the perceived value the benefits provide to employees is significant.”

Employee perks are also offered by many employers. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are offered by 88.1 per cent of employers. Twenty-six per cent of organizations provide uniforms and 21.8 per cent offer cafeteria discounts. Movie ticket discounts are offered by 16.3 per cent of employers, compared to car rental and hotel discounts at 14.5 per cent.

There have even been recent accounts of organizations opening emergency day care services, offering laundry and dry cleaning services and providing free lunches. And some companies bring massage therapists into the office for one day.

Providing these types of services can be a great way to boost employee morale at minimal cost to the company, said Compdata.

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