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Voluntary Benefits Can Offer Lifeline to Employees Post Pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted our world in ways we never would have imagined this year. Likewise, the pandemic has changed the employee benefits landscape. One of those changes is that voluntary benefits have taken on even more importance.

Voluntary benefits have always been a win-win. Employers find them an excellent recruiting and retention tool while employees see voluntary benefits as an opportunity to choose benefits they need or want. In recent years voluntary benefits have seen more popularity as the products themselves have become more diversified and appealing to multiple generations in the workplace.

In 2021, employers will continue to seek ways to expand the voluntary benefit offerings in their employee benefit packages to provide more-customized options to meet workforce needs, whether that’s targeting traditional voluntary benefits or non-traditional ones for lifestyle, personal wellness and financial health.

  1. A growth spurt for the voluntary benefits industry.

    In the voluntary benefits space, traditional insurance-related products such as supplementary life insurance, disability income, and dental account for over 60% of total 2019 sales. Look for a jump in the growth rate in 2021 as employers expand their offerings and as employees are choosing voluntary benefit options as a ‘go-to’ to help them face financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.

  2. All voluntary benefits that address employees’ financial well-being will likely take top billing.

    One critical piece of pandemic disruption that employers can’t overlook is their employees’ financial situation. For many employees, COVID-19 certainly drew attention to their fragile financial condition. The COVID-19 outbreak was causing stress on their personal finances. As a result of the impact the pandemic is having on their finances, people feel it is more important now that employers offer financial wellness benefits. And when asked what their employer could do to have the most significant impact on their personal financial situation, they said, “make a contribution to my rainy day fund/emergency savings account.

  3. Even more customization of benefits will be of interest to employees.

    Being able to pick and choose benefits that are important to them has always been the attraction of voluntary benefits for employees. Because of the pandemic, many voluntary benefits will stand out as options for these times. As a result of the pandemic, we can also expect more interest in critical illness insurance

  4. Employees will continue to look more closely at voluntary benefits available to them.

    The pandemic has forced many employees to look for resources and assistance they may never have thought about previously. Pre-pandemic, when open enrollment time rolled around and the entire employee benefits package needed review, it was often easy for employees to overlook some benefits.

In 2021 voluntary benefits will become an even more personal choice for employees as they continue to navigate the effect the pandemic has had on their financial situation. Being able to pick and choose products that will meet their individual needs is going to be a lifeline for many who are still recovering.