Voluntary Benefits

Employees: VB Offerings Don’t Reflect Employee Diversity

Financial safety net, group-rates top two features

ATLANTA (Oct. 22, 2015) – Voluntary benefits make the employee benefits package more attractive for both recruitment and retention purposes, but many employees believe their employers could go farther in the diversity of offerings.

According to a June 13-16, 2015, Harris Poll on behalf of Purchasing Power among 937 U.S. adults working full-time, 61 percent of employees are very or somewhat likely to stay with their current employer primarily due to a voluntary benefits package offered. During the same month, employers were surveyed on their opinions of voluntary benefits.1

Here are highlights from the surveys:

  • Both employers and employees agree on the importance of voluntary benefits – 90 percent of employers and 86 percent of employees say offering voluntary benefits is very or somewhat important.
  • Whether or not the voluntary benefits offered at their company reflect the diversity of the employees did not track, however – 78 percent of employers think that the voluntary benefits their company offers reflects the diverse needs of their employees; yet only 29 percent of employees strongly agree and 33 percent of employees somewhat agree.
  • 93 percent of employees say it is very or somewhat important that they be able to choose benefits based on their particular needs, such as ones that enhance their lifestyle, protect their well-being and improve their financial wellness.
  • Only 29 percent of employees say their or their spouse’s employer offer non-traditional voluntary benefits, but 48 percent of those whose company doesn’t offer them would like them to. Further, 54 percent of employers say they don’t offer non-traditional voluntary benefits and 78 percent of employers say they don’t anticipate offering any additional non-traditional voluntary benefits.

“The message is clear that employees want more diverse voluntary benefit offerings,” Elizabeth Halkos, Purchasing Power Chief Revenue Officer, said. “Since non-traditional voluntary benefits are almost exclusively offered on an employee-pay basis, it wouldn’t be hard for companies to provide more options,” she explained.

Employees look to non-traditional voluntary benefits to fulfill various purposes. When full-time employees were asked to list the purposes that voluntary benefits serve for them, 73 percent of respondents answered that at least one of the following purposes applied to them.

Here are the highest priorities:
Employers who have added more voluntary benefits – both traditional and non-traditional – are finding that their employees are more satisfied and loyal

  • Provide me with a financial safety net – 44 percent;
  • Allow me to access benefits at a group rate rather than a higher individual premium – 43 percent;
  • Protect my overall well-being – 39 percent;
  • Make life easier/more convenient – 38 percent;
  • Allow me access to services that I couldn’t get on my own – 33 percent; and
  • Support my long-term goals – 33 percent.

“Employers who have added more voluntary benefits – both traditional and non-traditional – are finding that their employees are more satisfied and loyal,” Halkos added.

Purchasing Power’s newest white paper, “Benefits That Matter: Five Ways Employers Can Get the Most Value from Voluntary Benefits” explores employers’ and employees’ views on voluntary benefits and provides five tips for employers to get the most value out of their voluntary benefits program.




About Purchasing Power, LLC
Purchasing Power is one of the fastest-growing voluntary benefit companies in the industry, offering a leading employee purchase program. Purchasing Power is available to 7.8 million people through large companies – including Fortune 100s – and government agencies. The company was honored for “World Class Service” by Smart Business, recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies for eight years on the Inc 500|5000, and is one of “Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.” Headquartered in Atlanta, Purchasing Power is ‘Powering People to a Better Life™’ through its employee purchase program, financial literacy efforts and charitable contributions. Purchasing Power is a Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC Company. For more information, visit www.PurchasingPower.com.
1 Human Resource Executive survey on behalf of Purchasing Power, June 17-29, 2015 among 72 employers