More and more businesses are being forced to eliminate certain benefits in order to reduce costs so they can survive financially. This is due to increased competition, reduced market shares, and a sluggish economy. Supplemental insurance expert, William Hofto at All About Voluntary explains that voluntary benefits are a better option for most businesses and most employees, since they meet the exact needs of employees and save companies money. Here are some benefits that may be made optional in order to keep your company financially healthy.
Currently, only five states require some form of disability insurance. They are: Hawaii, New York, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Short-term and long-term disability is a form of insurance that provides partial wage reimbursement if the employee is sick or injured. Major insurance companies, such as MetLife and State Farm, offer disability insurance on their own for those who need it.
Accident and Life Insurance
All employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage through their state program or a private organization so in many cases, accident insurance isn’t necessary. The two types of life insurances, term and permanent, come with additional options such as business travel accident and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Life insurance is a luxury that employees can easily purchase on their own.
Dental and Vision Insurance
While ObamaCare is making sweeping changes to the healthcare system in the U.S., dental and vision insurance are generally not required for working adults. Many major health insurance companies offer affordable, individual dental and vision plans along with the health care insurance they give employees.
Common paid leave covers holidays, vacations, personal leave and sick leave. Less common paid leave cover jury duty and bereavement leave. Employers must allow employees time off to serve on a jury, vote, or perform military service, but do not have to compensate them for it. Keep in mind that employers must give up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Federal law does not require companies to offer retirement plans and most major financial firms and investment brokers offer customized retirement plans. These include Fidelity, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, and Capital One Investing. Retirement planning advice is available from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Employee assistance programs are services designed to help employees with a variety of personal problems. These include, marital, legal, family, financial, and mental health services. While these are potentially beneficial, they are all available through both private and non-profit organizations. In fact, there are many free government programs designed to help employees with these problems.
Today there are many voluntary benefits, most of which are available through outside sources and can be eliminated from your company package. Doing so will reduce costs, avoid layoffs, and keep the company financially strong. The U.S. Small Business Association explains which benefits are required, here.
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