Voluntary benefits, also called voluntary group insurance, are plans for employees that are provided at little to no cost to the employer. They enable employees to enroll in coverage at significantly lower rates than they would pay as individuals, and often help employees cover expenses that may not be paid for by other types of insurance.

Voluntary benefits allow employers to offer more extensive coverages without added costs. In addition, they help employers save on taxes. Since premiums are paid via automatic pre-tax payroll deductions, employers pay less payroll taxes – a win-win for you and your employees.

Voluntary benefits can be offered in the following ways:

  • Traditional voluntary plans – 100% employee-paid. Employees select benefits that best meet their needs and budget, often at lower group rates.
  • Voluntary buy-up plans – Employers pay for basic coverage, and employees are given the option to buy up or purchase richer benefits.
  • Multi-coverage packages – Products offering basic protection are bundled together (age-banded for easy selection and rates). These packages offer employees both convenience and affordable rates.

Why Should Employers Offer Voluntary Group Insurance?

There are many advantages to offering voluntary group insurance for both large and small employers: financial stability, employee well-being, and workforce loyalty. A voluntary benefit plan helps employers increase employee retention, attract new employees, and save money. Small businesses get the additional advantage of being able to compete more effectively with larger organizations.

It’s clear that voluntary benefit plans are becoming popular with employers. Over 70% of employers offer voluntary benefits to improve morale and attract new talent1. And, voluntary group insurance is gaining traction with employees as well. Employees face rising out-of-pocket expenses and greater responsibility for funding their future. They realize it’s up to them to evaluate their benefits options and make decisions, so they appreciate the value of benefits offered through their companies:

  • 73% say benefits play a major role in how financially secure they feel.2
  • 68% say that more than half of their financial security depends on workplace benefits.2

Voluntary Benefit Plan Types

Traditional non-medical insurance plans will complement your healthcare offerings. The following basic employee benefits coverages are a good starting point for you to consider as you build your voluntary benefits plan:

Supplemental health insurance plans can also complement your healthcare offerings by helping offset unexpected and large expenses that medical insurance may not cover. Flexible benefits packages offer employees additional financial protection to help meet their family’s needs and budget. These are the important Supplemental Health benefits for you to consider as part of your voluntary employee benefits:

Voluntary Benefits for Small Businesses

If you’re running a company with as few as two people, you should consider employee insurance for small business as a means of providing benefits coverage to your employees and yourself. Voluntary group insurance is easier to afford, has minimal participation requirements, and offers guarantee issue on some products. These benefits can help you attract and retain talent, and stay competitive with larger companies.

Why Choose Guardian for Voluntary Group Insurance?

With one of the most comprehensive voluntary benefits portfolios, and over 60 years’ experience providing group benefits, Guardian is the right choice for your voluntary benefits plan:

  • Our plans are highly customizable, so we can help meet the diverse insurance needs of your workforce.
  • We understand the challenges employers face because we serve companies with as few as two employees to businesses with 10,000+ employees.
  • Our experienced professionals can help you develop a comprehensive and flexible voluntary benefits plan that meets your company’s needs
  • Innovative online tools help alleviate the administrative burden.
  • Exclusive College Tuition Benefit Program: helps employers pay for college**

No wonder Guardian is one of the fastest-growing companies in voluntary benefits sales.3

Effective Communications Strategies

We’ll work with you to identify areas of focus and develop a plan to help drive results. We commit to your business and will work with you to evolve your communication strategy. Together, we’ll review your benefits plan, identify opportunities, and develop a holistic enrollment and communications plan to fully engage your employees:

  • Single point of contact for all your communication and enrollment needs
  • Customized, multi-media communication campaigns
  • National network of Benefit Counselors available to lead online and in-person educational meetings
  • Employee Benefits Center to field questions from your employees during enrollment

Innovative Enrollment & Administrative Technologies

Your employees’ enrollment experience influences the success of your plan, which is why we have invested in the latest technologies that offer your employees an easy path to selecting and using their benefits, and give you simple tools to administer benefit plans with minimal noise:

  • Guardian Anytime, our proprietary platform, allows employees to easily enroll online with real-time EOI and avatars to guide the process, and gives you administrative tools to help you manage your plan.
  • Leading third-party benefits administration platforms offering integrated Guardian EOI to streamline employee enrollment, and efficient management of medical, retirement, and non-medical benefits.



Willis Towers Watson, 2018


Guardian Workplace Benefits Study, 2015


EBRI, 2015


U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report, Eastbridge Consulting Group, 2016


College Tuition Benefit is available for Guardian Dental, Vision, Hospital Indemnity, Disability, Life, Critical Illness, Cancer and Accident insurance. The Tuition Rewards program is provided by SAGE CTB, LLC. Guardian does not provide any services related to this program. SAGE CTB, LLC is not a subsidiary or an affiliate of Guardian. Guardian reserves the right to discontinue the College Tuition Benefit program at any time without notice. The College Tuition Benefit is not an insurance benefit and may not be available in all states.

Group Insurance coverages are underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY.  Products are not available in all states.  Policy limitations and exclusions apply.  Optional riders and/or features may incur additional costs.  Plan documents are the final arbiter of coverage.