Voluntary Benefits: An Important Strategy at No Cost to Small Businesses

Small businesses are always confronted with the notion of keeping up with their larger competitors – whether from a cash compensation or a benefits perspective. While larger companies may have more cash to spend, smaller businesses can offer curated benefit opportunities for their employees to take advantage of – both on and off the job. For these so-called voluntary benefits, employees will benefit from the favorable group pricing obtained through their employer. Here are some reasons to include a comprehensive voluntary benefits program.

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  • No cost to the employer: Voluntary benefits are paid for by the individual employee, meaning that the employer can offer favorable group pricing to employees without taking on any financial burden. Meanwhile, employees who seek to obtain benefits such as life insurance not via their employer may be confronted with even higher prices in the individual market.
  • Reduce Healthcare Costs: Small employers may not be able to provide 100% contribution and low-deductible plans to their employees. In such instances, offering voluntary benefits such as hospital indemnity, long-term disability, short-term disability, vision, or dental insurance can help round out a health insurance offering and not leave employees to go find coverage elsewhere – or remain exposed to major life events.
  • Boosts Retention and Recovery: The average time to fill a small business vacancy is 42 days across all industries (SHRM). The costs of hiring and the costs of open vacancies are at all-time highs, as unemployment is at all-time lows. Meanwhile, over 60% of small business employers believe their benefits highly influence loyalty and satisfaction, and nearly 20% of employers believe benefits are a reason why employees would decide to leave or stay at a company. A comprehensive voluntary benefits plan can cover employees, get them to the right providers (e.g. a nearby dentist) more quickly, and boost their recovery time – a win for all parties.