Originally posted September 25, 2013 by Bill Olson on http://analytics.ubabenefits.com With many employers forced to move employees to part-time schedules, send employees to exchanges, drop spouse/family coverage—or coverage altogether, and/or increase employee costs, employers can’t necessarily rely on their health benefits to attract and retain employees. With everyone trying to thread the needle on minimizing penalties, maximizing tax benefits, controlling health costs, and helping employees qualify for subsidies, let’s face it: the health plan may not be your hallmark anymore. So polices like flextime, corporate and social responsibility charters and voluntary benefits may become the cornerstones of your recruitment and retention strategy. UBA took a preliminary look at voluntary benefit trends in its Ancillary Products Survey, which indicates vast differences in voluntary benefits offered by employer size, region and industry. Employees these days are more diverse than ever and because of this, each employee has their own unique needs. Ancillary benefits provide employers with the ability to meet these needs on a variety of levels. The first step in crafting a benefits package with voluntary or ancillary choices is knowing what others in your industry or area are offering. With comprehensive benchmarking data you can best identify cost-effective solutions that employees truly want. Auto and home insurance is a main staple in the Northeast for example. In larger companies, group term life is a must-have. Short term disability is critical in the manufacturing industry. Long term disability is most common in the retail industry and much less common in the construction/mining industry. While 2.7% of employers overall offer identity theft insurance, nearly 30% of larger employers include this in their package. Comprehensive data for your size, region and industry are the key to smart decisions. To help employers develop a cost-conscious, yet effective voluntary benefits strategy, United Benefit Advisors (UBA), in conjunction with the Principal Financial Group® is hosting a free webinar, “Maximize Your Employee Benefit Dollars with Voluntary Benefits,” on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. EDT. To receive the $149 discount for this webinar enter the code “UBAP” when registering. To register, visit: http://getsix.in/pewpO. This webinar has been submitted to the Human Resource Certification Institute to qualify for 1.25 recertification credit hours.