Human Resources and Benefits

Understanding Voluntary Benefits

You can add variety to your benefits program without increasing cost to your company with voluntary benefits. Offering voluntary benefits gives you as the employer the ability to offer your employees some degree of choice and customization at an affordable price.

What are Voluntary Benefits?

Voluntary benefits are available through employer-sponsored plans. You can leverage group purchasing power to provide these products and services to your employees at rates they wouldn’t be able to access on their own.

These programs have four key characteristics:

  • 100% employee-paid
  • Offered through an employer
  • Solicited and enrolled through a carrier or enrollment firm
  • Paid through automatic payroll deductions

Because of their cost efficiency and portability, as well as their contribution to an employee’s work-life balance, voluntary benefits are becoming a central component of many companies’ overall benefits strategies.

Examples of Common Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are employee-paid products that include a variety of health and non-health type options, such as the following:

  • Permanent life insurance
  • Disability income insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Supplemental health insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Retiree medical insurance
  • Dental/vision insurance
  • Auto/homeowners insurance
  • Prepaid legal services
  • Pet health insurance
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Computer purchase programs
  • Adoption assistance

Advantages to Offering Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits appeal to the needs of employers and employees. Here are a few advantages of offering these benefits.


  • Increased expense control in the face of rising benefit costs
  • Cost-effective way to supplement benefit cuts or reductions
  • Important tools for attracting and retaining valued employees
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors (both in offerings and image)
  • Usually there are no fees or costs for employers
  • They complement the goals of most corporate work/life programs
  • Easy implementation (most do not have legal and regulatory issues associated with insurance benefits)
  • Require little post-implementation administration or support


  • Opportunity to access a broader array of benefits
  • Freedom to choose benefits that best suit their needs
  • Affordable premiums (often deducted on a pretax basis)
  • Portable coverage
  • Easy enrollment process
  • More convenient and timesaving than buying on their own
  • Convenience of payroll deduction
  • No medical exams
  • More lenient underwriting requirements

These products are affordable and are popular benefits your employees can take advantage of any time throughout the year, not just when they are sick.

To learn more, please contact your Leavitt Group insurance advisor.

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