Benefits Research 2010: Flexible benefits provision

Flexible benefits schemes have been something of a slow burner in the benefits world. Despite being the subject of much discussion and debate in the industry, their popularity has been relatively slow to take off. Although the number of employers offering flex schemes is increasing, this growth has occurred at a much slower rate than voluntary and salary sacrifice schemes.

This may be because of the perceived complexities of implementing flexible benefits among employers that do not operate a scheme. These include the cost and complexity of administration. However, technological advances and product development in recent years have made it much easier to put a scheme in place.

The types of benefit offered through flex have changed little over the years. In 2004, the top five benefits offered through flex were: the buying or selling of leave days, childcare vouchers, critical illness insurance, dental insurance and a healthcare cash plan.

Three of these perks – dental insurance, childcare vouchers and buying or selling extra leave days – are still in the top five today, along with bicycle loans and private medical insurance for employees’ partners and dependants. The other top five benefits from six years ago are still high on the list of benefits offered through flex today.

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Read more articles from the Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes Benefits Research 2010