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Americans Demand More From Their Employers, Voluntary Benefits Can Help

Stocks in this article: WLP

Workers juggling both career and family may feel like their “to do” list is out of control. Work that extra hour, hit the gym, pick up kids and see to dinner, chores and homework all before bedtime. In this whirl of activity, it’s no wonder that working Americans expect their employers to help them simplify their lives by offering voluntary benefits as part of an overall employee benefits program.

According to a new survey from WellPoint, nine in 10 Americans believe companies that offer a full range of benefits help them simplify and secure their lives. The survey compares employed Americans’ knowledge and attitudes toward voluntary benefits from 2010 with those of employed Americans today.

The survey found that employees continue to favor companies that offer voluntary benefits with 90 percent of Americans agreeing that voluntary benefits are a good tool to help companies balance the needs of their employees while dealing with tightening budgets. Similar to 2010 findings, saving money and offering protection for the employee and his or her family were cited as the most popular reasons for choosing to purchase a company’s voluntary benefits.

Voluntary benefits, which are traditionally paid for by the employee through payroll deductions, range from life insurance benefits, short-term and long-term disability, vision and dental care to pet care, legal plans and discount health and lifestyle benefits.

“Offering voluntary benefits is a cost-efficient way to support employees both personally and professionally,” said Bill Smith, president of WellPoint’s Disability, Life and Voluntary business. “Employees report that they are more productive at work and they think more highly of their company, if it offers a range of benefits, including voluntary benefits.”

More Education Needed about Voluntary Benefits

While two thirds of employees report that they are satisfied with their employers’ benefit offerings, this represents a small drop in satisfaction compared to 2010 when 73 percent registered their satisfaction with their current benefits package.

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