employee benefits

Six Rising Trends in Voluntary Benefits for 2019

By Thomas Broderick

Voluntary benefits have shown great promise in supplementing traditional benefits packages that include health insurance and retirement savings plans. However, attracting top talent means that companies must continuously refine which benefits they offer employees and how they roll out these benefits. For this reason, employers must keep up to date with the latest trends in voluntary benefits – trends that have a significant impact on employee retention.

That said, let’s look at six rising trends that employers should pay close attention to for the remainder of 2019.

Voluntary Benefits Are Expected Benefits

The first trend is not so much a type of voluntary benefit but an essential fact that all employers should know. By the end of 2019, most employees will want to work for companies that offer flexible benefits packages that provide some choice. Voluntary benefits provide employees agency, and even the smallest amount of agency can forge a bond between employees and their employers. 

Student Loan Relief

Students loans take years if not decades to pay back, and the stress of paying off loans can have a detrimental impact on your employees’ work performance. Also, consider retention. Employees burdened with loans are more likely to leave for another company that pays them a higher salary.

To offer student loan relief, your company matches student loan repayments up to a set dollar amount. The system works in much the same way as retirement matching. A student loan relief program can instill employee loyalty, as employees can pay off their loans faster than they would have been able to otherwise. Your company can also supplement this benefit by holding seminars on student debt – educating employees on other strategies they can use to pay off their loans and build excellent credit.

Financial Guidance

Young employees have more financial difficulties than student loans. Many employees struggle with saving, budgeting, and other skills. An automated savings plan costs your company very little and can go far in convincing employees that you have their best interests at heart.

In addition to savings plans, professional development courses and other tools can help your employees build their financial skills. No longer worried as much about savings or debt, they can focus more on their jobs.

Multi-Generation Support

In the generations since the Second World War, companies that offer childcare services have attracted employees with young families. However, as America ages, more and more employees find themselves caring for elderly parents and grandparents, as well. These responsibilities can negatively affect even the most talented and hard-working employees.

You can offer multi-generation support through discounts on elder care (e.g., nursing services, physical therapists) and additional financial assistance for employees who act as a family member’s sole caregiver.

Multi-generational support means much more than aiding employees’ infants and elderly family members. It also means helping employees’ school-aged children.  myKlovr created our virtual college counseling service as a voluntary benefit that prepares high school students for college admissions success. Employees receive this benefit at a low cost and can use the app to check in on their children’s college preparation goals at any time of day.

Professional Development

Employees in hundreds of professions take professional development courses to maintain their professional licenses. These courses can cost hundreds of dollars a year, even if employees receive other discounts through professional organizations. Employers who provide group rates on professional development courses can save not only their employees money but also time. Employees without their employers’ support often waste hours researching professional development courses that meet recertification requirements. By helping their employees save time and money, employers can further raise their employees’ loyalty and job satisfaction

Keep Employees Informed

Making voluntary benefits a success at your company requires much more than a company-wide email or form. To ensure that voluntary benefits become a cornerstone of your company’s corporate culture, you have to invest the time and money to ensure that all employees understand voluntary benefits and stay up to date with the latest benefits your company offers. Consider investing in professional development, seminars, videos, and simple ‘how to’ guides. Once employees become acclimated to voluntary benefits, you can release more periodic updates.

Finally, keep prospective employees up to date by prominently displaying your latest voluntary benefits on your company or organization’s website.

Final Thoughts

Trends evolve, which means that companies must update their benefits every year to meet employees’ changing needs. This way, companies never lose out on attracting and retaining the best talent.

[Press Release] MyKlovr, World’s First Ever Digital College Counselor Announces Two Major Strategic Additions to its Advisory Board

By myKlovr

(New York City, June 18, 2019) MyKlovr is delighted to announce the appointment of two new advisory board members who bring more than 65 combined years of business, benefits, and human resource experience. MyKlovr’s new board members are pillars in Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, and humanitarians.

Nancy Newman is SVP of HR at Viacom Inc. Ms. Newman leads all HR-directed practices throughout the organization and previously served as the EVP and Chief of Staff to the divisional president of MTV Networks, VH1, CMT, and LOGO, acting as a senior strategic partner to the president for all business and organizational decisions within the $2 billion enterprise. Ms. Newman is a member of Viacom’s Executive Global Inclusion Advisory Board and was named Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother Media. Ms. Newman holds an M.A. in organizational psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. in psychology with a minor in business from Trinity University.

Ms. Newman praised the myKlovr platform by saying, “I have never seen a product that can do so much, for so many, at such a low cost. The fact that myKlovr can be offered as a Total Rewards Benefit package makes it a compelling proposition for Benefits Managers. Kudos to myKlovr, you fixed one of the most pressing HR issues, how to attract and retain talent.”

Larry Kirshner is Co-President at Frenkel Benefits – an EPIC Company. Joining Frenkel as EVP and an equity-holding partner in 2001, Mr. Kirshner has played a significant role in the exponential growth that Frenkel Benefits has achieved along with the firm’s leadership position in the industry. Mr. Kirshner graduated from State University of NY at Oneonta with degrees in history and political science. Mr. Kirshner has been recognized as an Alumni of Distinction after establishing the Kirshner Family Scholarship in 2017 for first-generation college students.

“As a parent who has recently gone through the college admissions process, I appreciate the incredible weight that myKlovr takes off families’ shoulders. As a benefits provider, I am thrilled to offer the first ever virtual college counselor to our dedicated workforce and clients alike,” Mr. Kirshner commented.

MyKlovr’s founder and CEO, Gustavo G. Dolfino added, “It is a privilege and an honor to have Nancy and Larry join our advisory board. Their guidance and expertise will prove crucial to myKlovr’s scalability.”

With a rate of nearly 500 children per high-school counselor, college admissions is a major issue facing most families. MyKlovr’s artificial intelligence driven virtual college counselor, helps students get admitted to the school of their dreams, by focusing on both EQ and IQ, and doing so at an early age, where strategic interventions are more likely to succeed.

The myKlovr benefit is provided by companies to their employees for the benefit of their families, either on a company paid basis, as part of a total rewards benefit offering, or employee paid, on a voluntary after-tax basis.

Voluntary Benefits: A Primer for Employers

By Thomas Broderick

From catered lunches to flexible work schedules, employers are doing everything they can to attract top talent away from other companies. Although attractive to employees, these benefits and perks can cost employers a tremendous amount of money. Also, not all employers can afford these services, especially when they already pay for traditional benefits packages. However, in this era of record-low unemployment, all employers must experiment with new and unique benefits. One such option involves voluntary benefits.

What Are Voluntary Benefits

The following chart breaks down some key differences between traditional and voluntary benefits.

Traditional BenefitsVoluntary Benefits
Employees receive them automatically.Employees select some benefits from a list of options.
Employers pay the cost.Employees pay the cost, but a much lower price as they receive a group rate.
As every major employer offers them, companies do not stand out to prospective employees.By curating a unique list of voluntary benefits, employers can target a particular group of professionals (e.g., millennials with young families) they want to recruit and retain.

Now that you know how traditional and voluntary benefits differ, here are some popular voluntary benefits that companies are offering their employees:

  • Identify theft protection
  • Critical-illness insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Student-loan refinancing
  • Public transportation passes

To create a benefit for employees, companies partner with a second company — a benefits broker or professional employer organization (PEO) — that manages the benefit. The two companies agree on how the benefit will work and how much employees will pay. This process costs the employer very little; the company offering the benefit knows it will make its profit from the other company’s employees. Companies can offer their employees as many or as few voluntary benefits as they please.

Should My Company Offer Voluntary Benefits?

Voluntary benefits provide a host of advantages with little to no drawback for your company. By researching the most popular voluntary benefits and surveying your employees, you can determine which benefits would best attract and retain talented professionals.

If your company has never offered voluntary benefits, employees will need to learn how these benefits can complement their traditional benefits packages. You might consider holding a company-wide seminar or training session to educate employees about voluntary benefits.

After you roll out voluntary benefits, be sure to judge your employees’ reactions and adjust benefits accordingly. Just because employees responded positively to a benefit in a survey does not automatically mean that they will stay with your company if they should receive a better offer. In other words, providing the best voluntary benefits requires continuous fine tuning, especially if your company experiences moderate to high turnover.

MyKlovr’s Unique Voluntary Benefit

The best college admission counselors often charge over $100/hour for their services, making them out of reach for most families. Since 2017, myKlovr has striven to create an affordable virtual college admission advising program for high school students and their families. For a flat monthly fee, students receive expert, tailored advice to help them raise their chances for college admission success.

Our benefit appeals to employees who could not otherwise afford college admission counseling for their high school-aged children. As of the writing of this article, myKlovr has partnered with the following companies to bring our service to families in need:

By selecting myKlovr as part of your company’s voluntary benefits package, you convey to employees that you care about their lives outside of the office. With their children’s college advising in good hands, employees can direct more energy toward their work.

Your Next Step

Now that you understand voluntary benefits and how they can help your company, consider hiring a consultant – preferably a survey researcher — to determine which benefits best match your and your employees’ needs.

[Press Release] MyKlovr Signs Strategic Alliance with National Benefit Partners and Premier Health Solutions Dramatically Extending Its National Footprint

By myKlovr

Predictive analytics guidance platform now available as part of HR offered Total Rewards and Voluntary Benefits package.

(New York City, May 21, 2019) – Healthcare and college costs consistently appear as two of the top five financial concerns for families, according to Gallup polls. To ease the burden and support families interested in higher education, myKlovr has signed contracts with market leaders, National Benefit Partners (NBP), and Premier Health Solutions (PHS), to deliver artificial intelligence driven college acceptance services, to clients of both national organizations.

National Benefit Partners is an independent marketing organization that specializes in best-in-class voluntary benefit solutions to employers and their families. Premier Health Solutions helps businesses and the self-employed, enjoy corporate human resource type benefits at a discount. By adding myKlovr to the major distribution channels covered by these two firms, the company is substantially enhancing its reach on a national basis.

“We recognize that higher education planning can be burdensome and overwhelming for most families and individuals struggling to get the valuable information they need, to succeed on the road to college and in business,” said Gustavo G. Dolfino, founder and CEO of myKlovr. “We are pleased to partner with National Benefit Partners and Premier Health Solutions to deliver the myKlovr promise to students and their parents, in their quest to research, and get admitted to the college of their dreams.”

“Premier Health Solutions offers healthcare discounts and many other money-saving benefits to businesses. This new partnership with myKlovr allows us to offer our clients, the latest artificial intelligence driven algorithmic solutions, enabling them to participate in the most comprehensive educational solution available today,” said Brandon Wood, Partner of Premier Health Solutions. “What myKlovr has done is revolutionary; a new bar in the benefits space has been set.”

“As an organization dedicated to identifying products and services that can help employees solve a need, this partnership is the perfect fit to help our clients prepare for, and maximize, their families’ probability of getting into the college of their choice,” said Doug Kreszl, President of National Benefit Partners, East.

About myKlovr
MyKlovr is a media division of Student Global, LLC, established in New York in 2016. MyKlovr is the first-of-its-kind virtual college counseling platform that utilizes predictive data analytics and artificial intelligence to increase every high school student’s chances of college admission. For more information, please visit https://myklovr.com.

About Premier Health Solutions
Premier Health Solutions is dedicated to offering innovative benefits management and administration services that make it easy for our customers to provide best-in-class benefits to the individuals they serve. 

About National Benefit Partners
National Benefit Partners (NBP) is an independent marketing organization specializing in voluntary benefits and delivering turn-key product and service platforms to our Allied Distributors.

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