In early 2021, employers across the country were surveyed about various employee benefits and human resources topics, and roughly 150 employers responded. The information collected demonstrates how employers across the country are utilizing their voluntary benefits. Most importantly, it shows how some are using voluntary benefits to combat the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Voluntary benefits are those that employees can pick and choose from, offered in addition to core benefits (e.g., health insurance).

Typical voluntary benefits include dental coverage, vision insurance, financial counseling, critical illness insurance and others. Many voluntary offerings are 100% paid for by employees, but some employers may cover a portion of the premiums. As such, they can be an excellent way to provide meaningful perks to employees without raising costs. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these benefits have been particularly helpful. For many, COVID-19 has increased financial insecurity and negatively affected mental health. Voluntary benefits can help counteract these issues by arming employees with the tools they need to improve. And the survey data suggests exactly how some employers are leveraging their voluntary benefits.

Continue reading for key takeaways from the survey findings.