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Voluntary Benefits and Perks

Author: Leah Shepherd

Updating Author: Kim Freeman, Freeman Legal Consulting, LLC

Introduction

HR must stay alert regarding voluntary benefits - employee perks offered to land top talent, build company loyalty, and round out compensation packages. What worked a few years ago may not hold true today. It pays to keep abreast of what is trending in the marketplace regarding fringe benefits and how events, such as a pandemic, can shuffle the most coveted employee perks.

Because there are generally not laws requiring employers to provide voluntary benefits and perks to employees, an employer has greater flexibility when choosing options. Fewer legal compliance issues mean the perks offered can reinforce the organization's culture and build its brand. These employee-pleasing benefits are generally low cost and easier to administer, and HR professionals who keep their fingers on the pulse of current events and employees' needs will likely find the best options. These "extras" are also helpful in times of tight job markets, as they can make a difference in recruiting and retention.

This guide discusses the changing landscape of voluntary benefits and why it is important for organizations to offer voluntary benefits to employees. It also covers some voluntary benefits employers offer, including financial wellness, long-term care and tuition assistance.