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.
Stock Market Today (09/28/22): Stocks Soar as Treasury Yields Retreat
The stock market rallied after the Bank of England took action to stabilize its financial markets.
By Karee Venema • Published
Want to Beat Stagflation? Invest Like It’s the 1970s
Consider looking to the past as a guide for navigating today’s mixed-up economy.
By Coryanne Hicks • Published
What You Need to Know About Life Insurance Settlements
life insurance If your life insurance payments don’t seem worth it anymore, consider these options for keeping the value.
By David Rodeck • Published
The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
credit cards Business road warriors and leisure travelers alike can use a travel reward card to turn miles logged into other things – including more travel.
By Lisa Gerstner • Published
Is Relief from Shipping Woes Finally in Sight?
business After years of supply chain snags, freight shipping is finally returning to something more like normal.
By David Payne • Published
What Is an APR?
credit & debt Even for those who pay off their credit card balances every month, knowing your APR is part of keeping good credit habits.
By Rivan V. Stinson • Published
How Big Will the Fed Rate Hike Be? Wall Street's Top Minds Weigh In
interest rates The Fed rate hike announcement is due out Wednesday afternoon, and markets are anticipating another monster increase.
By Dan Burrows • Published
Amazon Early Prime Access Sale Is a Prime Day Redux
Amazon Prime Prime Day: So nice they had to try it twice. A fall event will follow the model of blowout sales over two days. But it will come with a different name.
By Bob Niedt • Last updated
The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards
Smart Buying Not interested in miles, points or other perks from your credit card? For those who want money back with a minimum of games, these cash-back cards are the way to go.
By Lisa Gerstner • Published
Amazon Warehouse: Where Amazon Prime Returns Become Your Next Online Bargains
Amazon Prime Amazon Warehouse products have a wide range of imperfections, but that leads to some often wildly discounted prices.
By Bob Niedt • Published