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The Employee Benefits Blog

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What Are the Most Popular Voluntary Benefits?

what are the most popular voluntary benefits?Voluntary benefits are best defined as insurance products offered by an employer, but paid for by the employee. An employer is often able to obtain a more attractive group rate than an employee could find as an individual, and payment typically comes in the form of a payroll deduction, some of which may be pre-tax.

As part of a comprehensive benefits package, these benefits can be used as a way to offer current staff members the opportunity to fill in gaps in their insurance portfolio and they may help entice new hires as well. Many types of coverage can also be continued by employees even after they leave the company.

Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all industry. Factors such as age, marital status, or family structure  affect insurance needs, so offering a wide selection of options ensures there is a plan for everyone. What are the most popular voluntary benefits? Read on to find out the most popular voluntary benefits employers are offering today.

  • Disability insurance. If circumstances render an employee unable to work due to a disability, short or long term disability insurance provides a reliable source of income. Many households live paycheck to paycheck; a loss of income whether temporary or permanent can be a devastating blow.
  • Life insurance. Of particular importance to those employees with a spouse, children or other dependents, life insurance can provide a sense of security in the event of one’s death. This is one of the most popular voluntary benefits  today. Dental insurance. With the high cost of dental care, dental insurance is a must have. Most plans cover yearly checkups, cleanings, and basic dental work for a relatively small deductible.
  • Vision care. Yearly eye exams and prescription eyewear can be costly. Preventive and routine eye care can help to minimize diseases of the eye as well as vision loss, benefiting everyone.
  • Critical illness. If the insured should be diagnosed with any critical condition covered by the policy such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, a one-time lump sum payment will be issued to help offset any medical or care costs.
  • Health insurance. Offering a variety of medical plans can help each employee select one that is applicable and affordable for their individual situation. Options may include prescription drug coverage, hospitalization and preventive care.
  • 401(k) plans. Those interested in planning for their retirement will appreciate the opportunity to contribute to their 401(k) at an amount they are comfortable with.

Offering a variety of voluntary benefits to your employees shows that you care. Providing the opportunity for affordable insurance premiums through volume discounts instills a sense of security and well being among those within your company. The most popular benefits are those which foster health and wellness, and provide for families or individuals in times of need. There is no cost to the employer, but the increase in company morale, goodwill and attractiveness to new prospective hires is highly valuable.


Winston Benefits is a HR solutions company that helps businesses automate and streamline their employee benefit programs. Custom designed and developed client-specific solutions help enrich their total compensation and rewards programs while optimizing processes such as benefit communications, enrollment and administration.


You forgot to mention legal plans as a voluntary benefit. I had one in one company and found it to be very helpful. I wish more companies offered this benefit.
Posted @ Friday, December 28, 2012 8:26 AM by Fern Abbott
Perception of both employee and employer is the greatest obstacle to covering some of the largest risks such as disability (workers comp doesn't cover the big risks). Group life insurance is one of the least costly, both to employers & employees. But the greatest benefit an employer can give employees is wellness and the understanding of what that means to all age employees. 
Posted @ Friday, December 28, 2012 7:04 PM by Jim Johnson
Based on what? Where are your citations?
Posted @ Tuesday, January 01, 2013 11:30 AM by Gwyn Higgler
I count 7 on your list, Dental is nested with Life Insurance. As Gwyn mentions, the "article" needs researched based citations!
Posted @ Wednesday, January 02, 2013 9:08 AM by Rick James
There are 2 additional voluntary benefits which will be of value to people: 
a. Extended Care Benefits 
b. TeleHealth
Posted @ Wednesday, January 02, 2013 10:05 AM by Raymond Lavine
Comments have been closed for this article.