The benefits market is becoming more competitive. As regulations surrounding benefits change and more people are becoming aware that options exist, it is becoming more of a challenge to attract and retain qualified employees if benefits are not offered as part of their compensation package. The more informed consumer requires that companies adapt and offer more flexible healthcare plans that can be tailored to meet the different needs of the many, rather than those of the few. Although voluntary benefits are part of an underdeveloped market in Canada, they are expected to be part of a rising trend to meet this need.
What Are Voluntary Benefits?
Voluntary benefits are supplementary benefits that the employer can offer to their employees at no additional cost to their business. The most common types of voluntary benefits include life insurance, disability insurance and critical illness insurance.
Employees will pay for the cost of these benefits, typically by payroll deduction, and employers usually do not need to dedicate much time to the benefits’ administration. Both the employer and the employee benefit from this type of plan, and offering these voluntary benefits is a cost-effective way for employers to increase their employees’ satisfaction without increasing the overall cost of benefits, employees will benefit from affordable group rates.
Voluntary benefits allow employees to get the coverage they need not only for themselves, but for their families as well.
What Do Voluntary Benefits Cover?
Voluntary benefits are intended to supplement or fill gaps in employees’ coverage. Coverage can include:
- Accidental Injury
- Permanent Life
- Critical Illness
- Long-term Care
- Elder Care
- Identity Theft
- Home Insurance
- Auto Insurance
- Pet Insurance
Facing a Demographic Shift
Many of the coverage options available through voluntary benefits are adapting to meet the new needs of Generation Y, or the Millennials. Millennials tend to look unfavourably upon traditional healthcare plans, feeling that they cover things that are irrelevant to them and their needs.
By including voluntary benefits as an option for their employees, employers are adhering to the demographic shift in healthcare that has erupted as a result of the Millennial generation. This is critical for employee retention as this generation currently makes up 25% of the workforce. These benefits meet the needs that Millennials have marked as essential to living a prosperous life:
- Health and wellbeing
- Coverage for individual interests
- Security and identity protection
- Income and asset protection
The Value of Voluntary Benefits
As the benefits market grows more competitive, changing to meet the demands of a new generation, voluntary benefits are becoming increasingly more popular with employers. These additional benefits allow employers to offer their employees more flexible coverage options, from accidental injury coverage to pet insurance. The availability of these options helps employers attract and retain qualified employees, making them an invaluable asset for any successful business.
If you’re interested in more information of voluntary benefits and how they could benefit your organization, contact your Benecaid Benefits Consultant or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.