Nearly three-quarters of employed individuals who are benefits eligible (70%) agree that they are more likely to work for an employer who offers employee-paid voluntary benefits like critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income or accident insurance, according to a new survey from Voya Financial.
However, when it came time to take action during their most recent open enrollment period, Voya’s survey also revealed that less than half of benefit-eligible employees (49%) actually took advantage of these voluntary benefit coverages offered by their employer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused American workers to realize that their health and wealth needs are inextricably linked. As a result, more individuals are reconsidering the value they place on their workplace benefits when it comes to employment decisions — especially in today’s competitive job market,” said Rob Grubka, CEO of Health Solutions, Voya Financial. “The challenge is that while many workers are well-intentioned, the reality is that voluntary benefits can be confusing. Often, it takes time for employees to properly educate themselves or get the help they need to feel comfortable selecting workplace benefits they likely have never enrolled in before.”
Interestingly, this disconnect between intent and action was highest among Millennials. While 78% of surveyed working Millennials who are benefits eligible agreed they were more likely to work for a company who offered critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income or accident insurance, less than half of Millennials (49%) actually enrolled in these types of voluntary benefit coverages offered by their employer during their most recent open enrollment period.
“When you consider Millennials are between 26 and 41 years old, which are prime years for starting a family and advancing their careers, time is often in short supply for most of these employees who are juggling competing work-life priorities,” added Grubka. “As a result, it’s not surprising this generation ranks highest in not taking advantage of these voluntary benefit coverages given their stage of life — even though the pandemic has shined a spotlight on their value in helping individuals build a secure financial future.”
Voya’s survey also revealed that nearly one-third of American workers who are eligible for benefits (31%) admitted they do not fully understand any of the employee benefits they selected during their most recent open enrollment period. With inflation at record highs, the results also show that nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) agree their money does not go as far as it used to go.
“It’s clear that, given the uncertainty of today’s environment and the complexity of workplace benefits, American workers are looking for help to maximize every hard-earned dollar. As a result, they are increasingly turning to a trusted source for support and guidance — their employer,” said Andrew Frend, SVP of Strategy and Product, Voya Health Solutions.
“A previous Voya consumer survey showed that more than 7-in-10 of employed Americans who are benefits eligible (73%) are interested in support and guidance tools that help them understand how much money to put aside for retirement, emergency savings and health care expenses,” Frend added. “For employers and benefits providers, this presents a tremendous opportunity to work together to provide their workforce with resources and digital tools that they can use to better understand and act with more confidence when making decisions to help advance their health and financial well-being.”
Voya has recently launched several digital innovations to help Americans holistically plan for their financial wellness needs, with more features scheduled throughout 2022. These resources include: Voya’s myHealthMoney digital assistant; Emergency Savings fund solutions; budget calculator; Spanish-language experience; and the Voya Learn digital educational platform, which offers live and on-demand sessions on a variety of topics, including saving for emergencies, investing concepts and market volatility, retirement income planning, debt management and more.
Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $4.2 billion in revenue in 2021 and $739 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Dec. 31, 2021.