Voluntary Benefits Blog

Purchasing Power pioneered the employee purchase program in 2001 as an employee benefit for companies to help their employees to get wired at home. In the past few years, we’ve seen voluntary benefits go from a “nice to have” to a necessity for companies to stay competitive in recruitment and retaining employees.

Today, non-traditional voluntary benefits are gaining more acceptance by employers who want to stay competitive, and by benefits advisors who see the advantages of having a diversified benefits portfolio to meet their clients’ needs. This blog aims to share our research and insights into the benefits industry. Please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest research and articles from the benefits industry.


Embracing the Reality of Employees’ Poor Financial Health

Lack of money management skills among employees may be a bigger issue than many employers realize. Even more serious is the impact employees’ lack of financial health is having on companies. In this blog we look at how it impacts employers and what they can do to build a more financial secure workforce.


Helping Employee Better Manage their Credit Score

With financial wellness taking a more prominent role in employee benefits, it’s important to make sure that your program includes a way for employees to address their credit. Recent surveys show that many working Americans are struggling with their credit and could benefit from learning how it impacts their financial reputation. In this blog we take a look at the state of consumer credit and how you can help employees better manage their credit.

Traditional Credit Might Be Failing Your Employees

March is Credit Education Month, and if you look at the data available on the state of consumer credit, it’s needed. According to the Corporation for Economic Development, nearly 56% of consumers have subprime credit scores. Twelve million Americans take out payday loans each year. On average, borrowers are spending $520 in fees for a $375 loan. This blog looks at how traditional credit might be failing your employees, how credit is changing, and what other options they have.


Which Employees Are Interested in Purchase Programs?

Employees say having access to employee discount and purchase programs can create, and increase, their loyalty to their employer. But which employees specifically are interested in using the different types of purchase programs? In a recent Harris Poll, employees were asked how likely they were to use the different types of purchase programs. In this blog we reveal the demographic breakdown of those who said they were very likely or somewhat likely to use each program.


Why Employees Like the Three Kinds of Purchase Programs

Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. Employee benefits make a definite impact on an employer’s recruitment and retention efforts as well. Purchase programs have become popular among employees in recent years. There is no question they are here to stay as they continue to grow with the addition of new products and services.


Increasing the Value of Your Member Benefits

Benefits are an integral part of attracting members to your association and then retaining them once they become dues-paying members. The benefits they have access to through their membership make them feel connected to and value your organization.


HR Trends That Will Keep You Ahead of the Curve in 2016

While no one can totally predict what will happen in HR in 2016, recent trends and issues give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here are four factors that are likely to shape HR in 2016.


How to Simplify Benefits Administration

Making benefits administration easier is often in the same category as making enough money – do we ever really get there? Between having to stay updated on ACA compliance regulations to trying to build an employee benefits package that resonates with today’s diverse employee population, there just isn’t enough time in the day. Here are three tips to make benefits administration easier.


Helping Employees To Keep Their Holiday Spending Under Control

‘Tis the season for overspending! But it doesn’t need to be! Share these tips with your employees to help them minimize their financial stress by keeping their holiday spending under control.


More than Retirement: Baby Boomers’ Financial Outlook

When you think of Baby Boomers and their financial outlook, retirement is no doubt top of mind. But not all Boomers are ready to leave the workforce. Many studies show that they’re concerned with more immediate needs. As data doesn’t tell the whole story, we sat down with Donald, a Baby Boomer who’s thinking about all of these things, to get his perspective.


Financial Planning for the Short-Term and the Long-Term

Did you know that October is Financial Planning Month? Many people think that financial planning is retirement planning. But it’s more than that. Financial planning encompasses budgeting, regular expenses, debt, saving, retirement and insurance, and much more. Understanding how each of these work together and affect each other is important for laying the groundwork for a solid financial foundation.


Getting the Most Value from Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are popular because employees can customize their benefits to suit their individual needs and complement company-sponsored core benefits. But are you getting all the value that you can from your voluntary benefits?


Driving Communication for Open Enrollment

It’s that time again. Open enrollment is on the horizon. That means benefits professionals are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. HR and benefits managers need to ensure that the integrity of the company plan is maintained, while increasing employee satisfaction, and that boils down to communication.


Relieving Back to School Stress

Depending on where you live in the U.S. back to school either started in the past week or gets going over the next two or three weeks. It’s stressful for kids and creates financial stress for their parents. There's a few ways that employers can help relieve that stress by helping working parents.


Employees’ View of Total Rewards Dictates Engagement

The employment landscape is shifting. According to Aon Hewitt’s Inside the Employee Mindset, employee trust is at an all-time low; employee engagement remains flat; and generational differences prevail.


Offering 11+ Voluntary Benefits Drives Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty

The latest benefit trends study from MetLife shows that the more voluntary benefit options employees have, the happier and more loyal they are. This sends a strong message to employers to offer a variety of voluntary benefits allowing today’s diverse workforce to choose the ones that will help them the most.


4 Ways to Win at Wellness

Employee wellness programs are growing in popularity among employers and employees. This is great news, but how can you be sure that you’re getting the most out of your program? These four tips will help you maintain and improve engagement in your employee wellness initiatives.


Millennials: Why Work-Life Challenges Are Harder
Managing work-life balance has become more difficult for all generations in the last five years, but Millennials are finding it especially hard to cope.


The Role of Community in Financial Literacy
Much has been written about employees’ financial struggles and the toll the stress associated with it takes on their health and on their performance at work. Yes, there’s a role that employers need to undertake in helping with their employees’ financial literacy, but communities play a part in improving the financial literacy crisis as well.

Financial Illiteracy Doesn’t Discriminate
When we talk about the financial literacy problem in America today, who exactly are we talking about? Surprisingly, financial illiteracy doesn’t discriminate – it doesn’t apply to a specific age group, economic group or population segment. In other words, it’s affecting all segments of your employees.

Recognizing the 5 Signs of Employee Financial Stress
Statistics show that financial literacy is a more widespread issue than many people realize. Without proper guidance and education, adults with money issues won’t start making more responsible money decisions and won’t dig out of their financial crisis. How can you recognize financial stress in your employees? We have identified five factors that indicate an employee might be experiencing financial stress.

Financial Wellness: More Than A 2015 Trend
Gone are the days where wellness programs consisted simply of nutrition, exercise and health screening elements. Today, in addition to physical health and wellness, the employees' overall well-being is considered. Wellness programs now include mental and emotional health, social comfort, professional development and financial health. Employers should to incorporate financial wellness education programs that foster behavior change if they want to reduce employees’ financial stress and thereby improve workplace productivity.

Improving Work-Life Balance with Nontraditional Voluntary Benefits
With Spring Break fast approaching for many families, some of your employees may not feel that they have the financial resources to take a family trip when they take paid time off (PTO). We look at how employers can improve work-life balance for their employees by offering life-enhancing voluntary benefits.

Your Employee's Credit Affects Your Business
March is Credit Education Month, created by Credit Professionals International and the Credit Education Resources Foundation to remind consumers and businesses alike of the importance of good financial management. Learn how an employee's credit can have a negative impact on your business, and how you can put your employees on a path to improve their credit.

7 Ways to Demonstrate Employee Appreciation Every Day
March 7 is Employee Appreciation Day, and like other commemorative holidays such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, the sentiments we express should be reflected every other day of the year, too. Incorporate these ideas into your talent management and organizational development strategy to create an environment where employees thrive.

Taking a Purposeful Look at Voluntary Benefits
How do benefits professionals keep up with all of the voluntary benefits available today? It almost seems like new voluntary benefits are being created every day! To keep the non-traditional benefits straight, we suggest categorizing by purpose, which will also be useful to ensure you are creating a balanced employee benefits package.

American Workers Paying for Financial Stress with their Health
While many aspects of the American economy have improved, Americans continue to stress about money. A recently survey by the American Psychological Association, reports that 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, which is effecting their health and job productivity. Learn how to reduce employee financial stress.

Giving Employees What They Want: Benefits That Matter
Employee benefits are an important driver of employee satisfaction. Well-designed benefits plans based on the desires and needs of employees enable companies to strengthen their ability to attract and retain workers. Learn how to offer benefits that matter to your employees.

Non-Traditional Voluntary Benefits employers should embrace to stay competitive in 2015
Elizabeth Halkos, Chief Revenue Officer of Purchasing Power, shares her predictions for non-traditional voluntary benefits for 2015.