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Workplace Benefits

What you need to know about workplace benefits

Most businesses, especially large ones, offer health insurance and retirement benefits. But a number of businesses also enhance their offerings with workplace benefits, which are meant to act as a supplement to health and retirement benefits and to fill gaps in the coverage those benefits provide.

What are they?

Work benefits are a set of benefits that employers often offer to employees as a complement to their main benefits package. These benefits also are often referred to as “voluntary” benefits because the employees are not expected to participate in them but must pay the full cost if they do. These benefits usually cover things like disability or death.

Who are they for?

If a company offers workplace benefits, it must offer them to all full-time employees. The benefits are particularly important for people whose families would experience an extreme hardship if they were unable to work. That could include single parents, the sole breadwinner in a family or someone who provides financial support to a relative.

How do they work?

Voluntary benefits kick in if you experience an event that is covered by the policy. That might be a disabling illness or injury that prevents you from working. Depending on the policy, after you file a qualifying claim, you might receive a lump sum payment or you might receive a monthly benefit that is either temporary or permanent.

Different types

There are many kinds of work benefits, and the offerings may differ from employer to employer. Some of the most common include disability insurance, accident insurance, critical illness/cancer insurance, long-term care insurance and universal life insurance.

Major benefits

The main benefit of having supplemental benefits at work is the extra financial cushion they provide in case you get sick or hurt and can’t work. It also is cheaper to get such benefits through your employer than to purchase a policy on your own, which is an additional benefit.