In an effort to come up with the most attractive benefits packages for recruiting and retention, employers are forced to pull out all the stops. That’s the way it goes in a tight labor market. But employers cannot effectively compete if their brokers don’t have the right products. So here’s a question: does your broker offer voluntary benefits?
Voluntary benefits are those benefits that go above and beyond standard health insurance and retirement plans. They are benefits generally covered by payroll deductions. By definition, employees voluntarily sign up for said benefits and bear almost all the costs themselves.
BenefitMall, a general agency located in Dallas, has been heavily pushing voluntary benefits over the last year. They believe it is in the best interests of their brokers to do the same with their clients. In a recent post, they listed five voluntary benefits modern employees want. Does your broker offer them?
1. Dental and Vision Coverage
It is not a given that an employer will offer dental and vision plans. Historically speaking, dental and vision coverage has been an affordable voluntary benefit employees are willing to pay for. In exchange for a minimal payroll deduction, an employee can enjoy substantial savings on dental care and most aspects of vision care.
2. Life Insurance
There was a time when the majority of life insurance policies were sold by agents and brokers who contacted customers directly. But in recent years, more life insurance has been sold as a voluntary benefit. Employees have three basic options:
- Term – Term life insurance is the original life insurance offered in the U.S. A policy holder is covered only during the term for which premiums are paid. It is not unusual for a term policy to not go for more than 10 years. Once the policy expires, coverage expires with it.
- Whole – Whole life insurance is equal parts insurance policy and investment. It provides lifetime coverage even after all premiums have been paid. It is more expensive, but it offers more.
- Hybrid – A hybrid life insurance policy starts out as a term policy with lower monthly premiums. After a designated time, usually about ten years, it is converted into a whole policy with higher premiums.
Modern employees are gradually coming to terms with the fact that they have no way of providing for their loved ones should they die before retirement. They are beginning to understand the importance of life insurance.
3. Accident Coverage
Accident coverage is a supplemental insurance product that can help pay for lost income and medical bills in the event of an accident. Benefits from accident insurance do not kick in until all other insurance options have been exhausted. Nonetheless, having the benefit waiting in the wings is helpful when filing a claim becomes necessary.
4. Long-Term Critical Illness Coverage
Long-term critical illness coverage goes above and beyond accident coverage. It is designed to replace lost income in the event of a critical illness preventing the beneficiary from working. A good example would be cancer and its subsequent treatments. Cancer treatments can have a person out of work for months at a time – if not a year or more.
5. Identity Theft Protection
Offering identity theft protection as a voluntary benefit would have been unthinkable a decade ago. These days, it is one of the hottest voluntary benefits going. It is extremely affordable and, at a time when identity theft is rampant, highly prized among employees.
Does your broker offer voluntary benefits? If not, it might be time to switch brokers. Voluntary benefits are the hottest trend among employers hoping to compete in a tight labor market.