When employees sign up for open enrollment this fall, many will see an expanded menu of benefits, ranging from pet insurance to legal services. A survey by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson found that 94% of employers believe that voluntary benefits—which typically aren’t subsidized but are offered to workers at a group rate discount—are important to their employees, up from 36% in 2018.
Lydia Jilek, senior director of voluntary benefits solutions at Willis Towers Watson, says the pandemic and an increasingly diverse workforce have accelerated calls for benefits that meet employees’ differing needs. And faced with a labor shortage, employers are feeling pressure to offer benefits that will attract and retain employees.
Voluntary benefits appeal to employers because “they’re able to give their employees significantly more choice than they may have otherwise had, but there is a limited out-of-pocket cost,” Jilek says.
Among the fastest-growing voluntary benefits are those that protect workers against criminals seeking to steal their personal information, Jilek says. Driven by a rise in unemployment fraud, 78% of employers surveyed will offer identity theft protection by 2022, up from 53% currently offering the benefit. Other high-growth offerings include pet insurance, legal benefits and critical illness coverage, which provides supplemental health insurance following, for example, a heart attack or cancer diagnosis.
Korsh is a recent graduate and incoming graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He majored in journalism with a minor in psychology, and his graduate degree will be in the Medill Investigative Lab specialization of the MS in journalism program. He has previously interned for Injustice Watch, the Medill Investigative Lab and Moment Magazine, and he served as the print managing editor of North by Northwestern student newsmagazine. Korsh became a Kiplinger intern through the American Society of Magazine Editors Internship Program.
Amazon To Offer Students $25 Flights For The Holidays — But You Must Act Fast
Amazon Prime Student members will have a chance to score one of 3,000 tickets for a limited time, starting December 5.
By Jamie Feldman Published
Walt Disney's Dividend Is Back. Will DIS Stock Follow?
Disney reinstated its dividend after a three-year suspension as shares remain depressed.
By Dan Burrows Published
Best Foreclosure Sites for Finding Properties
Making Your Money Last Wondering how to find foreclosed homes for sale for your next residence or to flip for a profit? These websites will guide you to foreclosures and real estate-owned properties to buy.
By Bob Niedt Published
Four Tips for Renting Out Your Home on Airbnb
real estate Here's what you should know before listing your home on Airbnb.
By Miriam Cross Published
Five Ways to a Cheap Last-Minute Vacation
Travel Procrastinator? No matter. You can pull off a fun and memorable getaway on a moment's notice — without breaking the bank.
By Vaishali Varu Published
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
insurance Instead of relying on rules of thumb, you’re better off taking a systematic approach to figuring your life-insurance needs.
By Kimberly Lankford Published
When Is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime In 2023 Amazon had two Prime Day events — one in July and another, called Big Deal Days, in October. We expect 2024 to follow the same schedule.
By Bob Niedt Last updated
How to Shop for Life Insurance in 3 Easy Steps
insurance Shopping for life insurance? You may be able to estimate how much you need online, but that's just the start of your search.
By Kaitlin Pitsker Published
5 Ways to Shop for a Low Mortgage Rate
Becoming a Homeowner Rates are high this year, but you can still find an affordable loan.
By Daniel Bortz Published
Retirees, It's Not Too Late to Buy Life Insurance
life insurance Improvements in underwriting have made it easier to qualify for life insurance, which can be a useful estate-planning tool.
By David Rodeck Published