Pros and Cons of Voluntary Benefits

May 4, 2012 — 2,820 views  
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Voluntary benefits allow employees to purchase insurance products through their company cheaper than they would be able to get them on their own. Voluntary benefits might include vision, life, dental, disability, supplemental health and cancer insurance.

Entrepreneur states that voluntary benefits have become particularly helpful to small business owners who have had to make cutbacks during tough economic times. By offering voluntary benefits to employees, they were able to give staff a greater value, even if a benefits package or position might lack elsewhere.

"A lot of companies have cut back their staffs, and they're down to the core group of people that are going [to] get them through [the recession]," John Roberts, president and CEO of Assurant Employee Benefits, told the news source. "So they want to make sure that group of people is happy. Adding new [voluntary] benefits is a way to do that."

Another good thing about voluntary benefits is it allows employees to pick and choose what they need in a benefits plan. However, adding voluntary benefits requires a financial investment and company time. This could also be wasted if a company doesn't get employee feedback on demand for voluntary benefits before implementing them. A business should be prepared to spend time educating employees about these benefits, another potential disadvantage.