Employee Benefits Set to Expand

Employers are planning to sweeten their mix of employee benefits, according to a recent survey from workplace consultants Willis Towers Watson. The survey was based on polling done a few months ago, and it cited the pandemic as the cause.

Since then, of course, the attractiveness of expanded benefits has only increased. Many workplace managers are searching for more successful ways to recruit new workers as well as lure recalcitrant employees back to work.

“Employers view voluntary benefits as a cost-effective way to offer employees a wide range of benefit options that best meet their needs,” Lydia Jilek, senior director, Voluntary Benefits Solutions, said in a press release. “The pandemic has given rise to an increase in benefits that protect employees against big hospital bills and loss of income, and provide personal protection.”

The five benefits that employers plan to expand the most in the coming years are all related to insurance or other ways to protect employees from risks, many of which have been highlighted during the pandemic. They are identify theft, indemnity from big hospital bills, pet insurance, critical illness insurance, and group legal coverage.

Here are the half dozen most voluntary benefits overall are:

  • Financial planning/counseling through an existing vendor (93 percent)
  • Tuition reimbursement programs (88 percent)
  • Telephonic financial planning/counseling (77 percent)
  • Onsite fitness center (54 percent)
  • Backup childcare (48 percent)
  • Elder care (44 percent)