Posted November 28, 2012 by

Most Employers Offering Voluntary Benefits and Employee Perks

Amy Kaminski of Compdata Surveys

Amy Kaminski of Compdata Surveys

With slow economic growth and minimal pay increase budgets to work with, it’s no wonder companies continue to count every dollar when it comes to benefits planning. Human resources professionals, who are also dealing with the demands of employees to offer more comprehensive coverage, have found that offering voluntary benefits may be the key to boosting the value of their company’s benefits plan.

Voluntary benefits are benefits offered by employers, in which the entire premium cost to receive the benefit is paid for by the employees choosing to enroll in them. The Compdata SurveysBenefits USA 2012/2013 survey results found 49.6 percent of organizations offer accident insurance to employees as a voluntary benefit. More than a third of employers offer cancer care as a voluntary benefit, while 28.4 percent offer legal assistance. Universal life insurance is offered at 25.2 percent of companies surveyed. Parking perks and pet insurance are offered at a rate of 11.3 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

“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 for 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 but their rate of use varies. For example, employee assistance programs are offered by 88.1 percent of employers. Twenty-six percent of organizations provide uniforms and 21.8 percent offer cafeteria discounts. Movie ticket discounts are offered by 16.3 percent of employers, compared to car rental and hotel discounts at 14.5 percent.

There have even been recent accounts of organizations opening emergency day care services, offering laundry and dry cleaning services and providing free lunches, all in an effort to enhance their compensation and benefits packages to better fit the needs and lifestyles of employees. Some companies have been known to bring massage therapists into the office for a day. Providing this type of service can be a great way to boost employee morale at minimal cost to the company.

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