U.S. Study Sees Widespread Adoption of New, Creative Benefits

A new benchmarking study from Benepass, a modern benefits platform for people-forward companies, illustrates the impact of the pandemic, continued work-from-home policies, the tight labor market and shifting demographics on employee benefits offerings.

The company’s benchmarking report, which analyzed benefits data from more than 20,000 employees across the United States, found that traditional health and wellness benefits such as fitness, nutrition, mental health, and spa, beauty and massage were the most popular offerings across companies of all sizes.

In a nod to changing employee needs and preferences, the study uncovered a host of new creative and flexible benefits to support employees are also top of mind, including pet care, food, parental support, tuition reimbursement, and travel and vacation benefits.

“Employees today want to work for organizations that value their well-being, so it makes sense that companies are searching for new ways to prioritize employee wellness, especially as remote and hybrid work blurs the line between work and home. Our study findings show clear signals that companies are seeking to provide benefits that are highly personalized and flexible,” said Jaclyn Chen, CEO, of Benepass.

Key report findings:

  • The Rise of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA) – Of the various types of pre-tax accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are the most popular. Dependent care FSAs (DCFSA) ranked second.
  • Wellness perks most popular offering at large, mid-size and small organizations – Across all company sizes, and industries, the most popular types of perks are fitness and wellness, lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs), and work from home.
  • Lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) are empowering companies to expand the concept of wellness – LSAs, a relatively new benefit in the market, are non-salaried allowances that enable employees to choose how to best support their work-life balance and well-being. LSAs are fully funded by the employer and were developed on the basis that flexible, employee-led benefits lead to happier, more productive employees.
  • WFH perks remain popular and go well beyond buying a desk – Regardless of benchmark segment or industry, many employers provide $500 to $1,000 in work from home benefits, which allows employees to purchase high-cost items like a new desk or office chair. With the continued trend toward WFH, the report saw increasing creativity on the part of employers to support employees at home including paying for meals, cleaning services, trash pickup, or water treatments.
  • Rise in experiential perks to meet preferences of Gen Y, Gen Z – Some companies provide entertainment or cultural experience benefits to help pay for podcasts, music streaming services, and concert or theater tickets. This perk is particularly popular amongst tech companies who pay on average $44/month on this benefit.
  • Small businesses face pressure to match the benefits of larger companies – The study found that while the dollar amount may be less, small businesses were, by and large, offering the same benefits as large and medium size businesses.

“I think there’s an expectation from younger generations for more than just the traditional core offerings. They really want flexibility and choice, and they want their employer to meet them where they’re at. When you want high-performing employees, you need to make it easy for them to access the support they need, when they need it. I think it’s a generational shift and change from coming out of the pandemic; people are much more aware of and more vocal about their well-being,” said Kelly Wakefield, senior manager, global benefits, Moderna.

Additional information about the company can be found at www.benepass.com.