Buck Bond Group

Voluntary benefits represent a growing and essential component of employees’ benefit package according to Buck HR Survey

Companies increase benefits programs to attract and retain top talent

NEW YORK, March 22, 2022 – Forty-four percent of millennials would consider a job change to secure better benefits, according to a new survey from Buck, an integrated HR, pensions, and benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm. Faced with increased competition for talent, 72% of employers plan to add additional voluntary benefits. Additionally, since the start of the pandemic, 52% of employers have added on average six new voluntary benefit offerings to demonstrate support for employee physical, social, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

These findings are reported in Buck’s 2022 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey, a biennial study that tracks how organizations use voluntary benefits to support employee wellbeing, enhance benefit programs, and attract and retain talent. This edition’s research was supplemented with a parallel employee survey, allowing comparison of differences between employer and employee responses, ranging from current wellbeing to feedback on offerings versus employee needs.

“Voluntary benefits are a core component of any employer’s benefit package, allowing employees to self-select from a menu of offerings, typically at reduced or increasingly no cost,” said Tom Kelly, a Principal in Buck’s Health practice and co-author of the report. “The average employer offers 12 voluntary options, providing employees with the choice to select benefits that match their needs and life stage. And employees agree that voluntary benefits are an essential part of their benefits package and offer better value than buying similar services privately.”

Key survey findings:

  • Employers recognize the importance of supporting employee wellbeing to increase job satisfaction and engagement: 68% have enhanced their employee value proposition, and 97% offer at least one voluntary benefit, up from 88% in 2020.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of employers are seeking to foster increased job satisfaction, engagement, and the ability to attract and retain talent through voluntary benefits. This concurs with employee views: 68% ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that voluntary benefits are an essential part of a comprehensive benefits package.
  • 84% of employers have increased their benefit communications to improve awareness of offerings and wellbeing support, yet only 51% of employees think their employer has increased its commitment to wellbeing.
  • The fastest growing voluntary benefits between our 2020 and 2022 surveys include: Hospital indemnity (+20%); personal loans (+19%); financial coaching/planning (+19%); caregiving (+12%); and critical illness (+11%).

“Employers are increasingly using voluntary benefits to strengthen their employee value proposition and tangibly demonstrate commitment to supporting the diverse needs of their workforce,” said Ruth Hunt, a Principal in the Engagement practice and co-author of the report. “Benefits meeting essential needs such as emergency savings, mental health, caregiving, credit improvement, or personal loans, as well as discount purchasing programs, can play a part in easing the financial and related mental and emotional stress that employees cited as their two top wellbeing concerns. Both employers and employees agree there must be a more holistic approach to improve wellbeing.” 

To download a copy of the report, visit the Buck website.

Survey responses were collected from 218 employer participants and 683 employees in November 2021. Both the employer and employee samples are representative of large U.S. employers. The employer sample is representative of Bureau of Labor Statistics data in terms of number of employees, industry, annual revenue, entity type, global location, and regions of the U.S. The employee sample is representative in terms of gender, race, age, presence of children, marital status, role, and household income.

About Buck
Buck is an integrated HR, pensions, and employee benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm. Founded more than 100 years ago as an actuarial consultancy, we’ve evolved to serve organizations and trustees across the health, wealth, and career spectrum.

With the ultimate goal of securing the futures of our clients’ employees and members, we develop tech-enabled programs that engage individuals and drive organizational performance. Our award-winning engagement solutions and people-first approach empower the world’s most forward-thinking organizations to protect the physical and financial wellbeing of their employees and members and improve how their people work and live. For more information, visit www.buck.com.

Media contact:
Lumina Communications for Buck
Michael Gallo