A robust economy continues to drive interest in voluntary benefits as part of an employer-sponsored health plan. In fact, according to LIMRA, employers are far more likely today to include a wider range of voluntary options than they were five years ago.

Other studies have indicated that 2015 will be a year of growth for voluntary products. LIMRA, which monitors voluntary benefits trends, said in a release that “employers strongly support voluntary benefits to supplement their benefits’ menus.”

It’s really no longer a matter of whether most employers, especially larger ones, will offer voluntary benefits. Instead, the question is how wide the range of those offerings will be, LIMRA says in a report, “Stability in a Changing World: Voluntary Options Remain Deep-Rooted in Employer Benefit Strategies.”

It’s a competitive advantage to build out one’s benefits package with voluntary products, LIMRA said.

“As the economy has improved, employers see many advantages to sponsoring employee-funded benefits,” said Ron Neyer, assistant research director, LIMRA distribution research. “Beyond incurring no direct added costs, many employers recognize that voluntary benefits improve worker morale and job satisfaction.

“Increased job openings and a more competitive landscape have quickly reminded employers that voluntary benefits can help keep their current staff happy and also assist with bringing more good people on board,” he said.

The report, based upon data from more than 1,300 respondents, found that 90 percent of companies will continue to offer “comprehensive options” to workers in their employer-sponsored benefits plans. More than half expect to be covering more employers during the three-to-five-year period ahead.

“I don’t see employer-sponsored benefits going away anytime soon,” Neyer said.

The report is available only to LIMRA members.

This article was written by Dan Cook from BenefitsPro and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

To learn more about employee compensation, read this article in the Business Owner’s Playbook.