Understanding Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are additional benefit options that are offered to you through your employer. While traditional benefits like health coverage are generally employer paid, or shared with the employee, employees are generally responsible for paying most or all the cost of voluntary options. So, if you are responsible for the bulk of the pay, then why elect voluntary benefits? There are several advantages of receiving voluntary benefits through your employer.

Advantages of Voluntary Benefits:

Lower Price

If the benefit is something you are planning to purchase for yourself regardless, then it is usually more cost-effective to purchase it through your employer. The group rate an insurance broker can help you secure is most likely lower than what you would pay buying the same benefit individually from an insurance company.


Voluntary benefits are offered to you through open enrollment when you are selecting your traditional benefit offerings. Your premium can be conveniently paid through payroll deductions just like your other benefits. You will receive the same benefit of pre-tax payroll deductions, and you can skip the hassle of shopping around to find a plan.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Many voluntary benefits may seem unnecessary to you, but they are designed to protect you in the event of an unexpected illness, accident, death, or other event. Paying a small premium now can help protect you financially in the future if something were to happen.

Common Types of Voluntary Benefits:

  • Life Insurance – Employees can typically select a certain amount without having to go through medical underwriting
  • Vision Insurance – Usually includes free annual eye exam as well as discounts on contacts/glasses
  • Dental Insurance- Covers preventative services and discounts on other services
  • Short-Term Disability (STD) – covers a percentage of lost pay due to time away from work because of a disability (usually 3-6 months)
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD) – covers the care people need when they have lost the ability to perform certain daily activities
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment – coverage in case an employee dies in an accident or loses a limb, vision or hearing