In today’s dynamic job market, each employer aims at hiring and retaining the best employees. With today’s workforce, it is almost impossible to provide one package for all benefits, even in the voluntary arena.
According to a recent study by PwC 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, only 60% of employees think that their employer benefits are competitive compared to those of other companies. Voluntary benefits are a cost-effective way to give broader benefits package to employees and remain competitive in the benefits sector.
So, what lies ahead in 2019 for voluntary benefits.
1. Taking Care of Caregivers.
In today’s multigenerational workforce, we find a high number of employees who double as caregivers. In fact, more than 65 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year.1 In 2019, we expect to see employers bring more benefits that will cater to the needs of employees who are also caregivers. Some of the benefits important to caregivers include:
- Adoption assistance.
- Financial wellness benefits.
- Elder care support.
2. Addressing student loans.
According to a study by Unum, 55% of millennials consider student loan repayment as a must-have benefit. This is a large number compared to the 4% of employers who are currently offering the benefits. Student loan debt has reached a record high even exceeding credit card and auto loan debt. In 2019, we are likely to see employers trying to find ways of offering repayment benefits.
3. Facilitating savings.
Many employees live paycheck to paycheck with no savings for an emergency. According to Inc., a typical worker will have $0 saved for retirement. In 2019, we are likely to see financial service benefits that offer automated savings plans as a voluntary benefit.
4. Encouraging Utilization of Financial Wellness Benefits.
Financial wellness has been in the limelight in the recent years and now employers are adding a wide range of financial wellness voluntary benefits. However, according to 2018 Workplace Benefits from Bank of America, only one-third of employees utilize the wellness benefits offered. In 2019, employers and the nonmedical insurance industry will be looking for ways to make the wellness benefits more engaging, custom-made, and effective to help employees achieve financial wellness.
5. Communicating Year-Round.
With the increase in voluntary benefits, knowing and understanding all of them can be overwhelming. This makes picking the right benefits package difficult. Year-round benefits communication is important to ensure that employees understand what they are being offered. To make communications effective, take the time to appreciate the channels each generation uses to obtain their information use those platforms to communicate. In 2019, employers will re-dedicate themselves to benefits communications and understanding what resonates with their workforce.
1 Caregiver Action Network – https://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics