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voluntary benefits
Benefits Podcast

What are voluntary benefits?

August 23, 2023

Voluntary benefits give employees the opportunity to further customize their benefits package to meet their personal needs. And they serve as an excellent cost-effective recruitment and retention tool for employers as they look for ways to improve their benefits offerings. In fact, 76% of employees in a recent survey said voluntary benefits would entice them to stay at their current company. Keep reading to learn more about voluntary benefits and check out our Benefits podcast episode with Chris Wiley, director of partnerships at WEX, below.

Why are some examples of voluntary benefits?

Examples of voluntary benefits are: 

  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Critical illness
  • Pet insurance

Voluntary benefits are additional perks that an employer can offer at a discounted group rate, with the employee either fully or partially paying for the benefits through a payroll deduction. 

“There are a lot of specific needs that individual employees have, and those needs will change during their lifecycle as an employee,” said Wiley on our Benefits podcast. “I think employers are the ones best suited to offer up a menu of benefits options that can help employees and meet them where they’re at from a benefits needs standpoint.”

Let’s dive a little deeper into a few categories of voluntary benefits.


Voluntary benefits help employers fill any additional health needs that might not be covered by typical health insurance. Employees can receive more options such as critical illness insurance, disability insurance, and accident insurance, along with additional dental and vision benefits. Other employee wellness offerings include discounts for gym memberships and telehealth access.


With the current inflation rate as high as it is, employee financial wellness is more important than ever. Voluntary benefits such as financial planning services, student loan repayment programs, and investment advice can help employees meet their financial goals, improve their financial literacy, and prepare for the future.


Add an extra level of security to your employees’ lives with voluntary benefits such as identity theft protection, life insurance, and legal benefits. And help employees feel safer in their homes with discounted homeowners’ insurance and home security installations as well.


Employees are looking for more flexibility in their benefits than ever before as they adjust to a post-pandemic life, especially if they’re returning to the office. Offering personal voluntary benefits is a great way to help employees adjust to work environment changes and meet all of their employee wellness needs. These types of voluntary benefits could be:

  • Pet insurance
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
  • Car insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Remote/flexible work policies

Want to learn more about top benefits trends? Check out our benefits trends report below!

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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers. 

WEX receives compensation from some of the merchants identified in its blog posts. By linking to these products, WEX is not endorsing these products.

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