Employers have increased their budgets for flexible corporate employee benefits by 20% from July to September 2023

20% increase of flexible benefit budgets in Q3 in 2023 on the Re:benefit platform

Flexible benefits are becoming an increasingly important addition to traditional forms of employee compensation in Bulgaria. In the third quarter of 2023, the budgets invested by employees in individual corporate benefits have increased by 20% compared to the second quarter of the same year. The total amount provided to employees has risen from nearly 5.5 million BGN to 6.5 million BGN. This growth shows more employers recognise the importance of flexible benefits for attracting and retaining their talents, giving them the freedom to choose.

Health and Sports – the Most Preferred Categories of Benefits

Benefits in the “Health” category remain to be the most favoured from July to September 2023, accounting for 35% of all employee orders through the Re:benefit platform. In second place is the “Sports” category, at 11%. The preferences for these two benefits categories highlight employees’ priority in taking care of their overall physical and mental well-being. Next in the list are the categories “Transport” and “Food Vouchers.” This trend continues from the second quarter when “Transport” narrowly surpassed the “Food Vouchers” category.

The “Insurance” category represents only 4% of the total orders but accounts for 21% of the overall budget spent on additional benefits. This indicates that employees who choose insurance are willing to spend more on it.

Nearly 1.4 million BGN Invested in “Insurance”

From July to September 2023, employees invested nearly 1.4 million BGN in various insurance services. Their choices included providers such as Sigma Consult, Mussala Insurance Broker, Creditport and Bulstrad.

This popularity can be attributed to several reasons. Firstly, insurance offers protection against financial losses in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as illness, accidents, safeguarding homes and more. Secondly, insurance provides the opportunity to avoid future financial risks, offering coverage for unexpected expenses.

Followed by the categories “Transport” and “Sports” where employees allocated 17% and 16% of their monthly budget.

Health” is the Universal Choice, Regardless of the Personal Budget

Despite the differences in the monthly budget, employees favour the “Health” category.

Depending on the personal budget, employees have a variety of options for the second most favoured benefit, according to the research findings. Employees with a monthly budget under 100 BGN mainly opt for “Food Vouchers” as their second most desired benefit. However, for employees with a monthly budget between 100 and 150 BGN, the preferred benefits are in the “Transport” category. The talents  with a budget exceeding 150 BGN prioritise the benefits from “Gastronomy” that includes vendors like eBag, Foodbox and Supermag.

The third most desired perk for employees with a budget of under 100 BGN is “Transport.”  However, the next two groups with spending limit over 100 BGN pick “Sports” as their third top benefit.

Additionally, it seems that employees who have a higher budget for extra benefits are more likely to choose the “Charity” category as their top preference.

Diversity in Benefits and Personalized Choices

Over the past couple of years the availability of a variety of benefits provided by the employers has become an important factor for the people while looking for a job. Especially the flexible benefits as it gives them a choice and control to accommodate their needs and preferences accordingly. As we can see, the non-standard categories like ‘Gastronomy’, ‘Family Support’ and ‘Charity’ are selected more frequently than we might have expected. The majority of the companies are already reconsidering switching to a more innovative way of their HR forces to provide a more stimulating atmosphere at the workplace. In the third quarter, over 40,000 BGN were invested by the employees using the ‘Charity’ option on our platform as it makes it one of the most popular non-traditional benefits. 

Benefits from the “Culture and Entertainment” category are also attractive for employees. Online movies, theatre performances, and other digital cultural services represent 6% of the overall expenditure budget. This trend reflects the need for quality relaxation and time for enjoyable activities.

From personalised gifts to unique experiences, the “Gifts and Experiences” category represents 8% of the total invested budget where employees use them in their leisure time or to create exciting and unforgettable moments.

Do Men and Women Choose Different Benefits?

The data reveals that men and women opt for similar benefits. “Health,” “Sports,” and “Transport” rank among the top preferences for both men and women. Interestingly, this trend extends even to more unconventional categories such as “Family Support.”

Statistics show a noticeable difference exists only in the “Transport” category. By selecting this type of benefit from the Re:benefit platform, users gain access to preferential conditions for transportation and services offered by OMV, Lukoil, Center for Urban Mobility, Spark, and others. Men account for 75% of the total budget expenditure, while women comprise only 25%.

How Age Influences Employee Choices

Re:benefit challenges stereotypes and offers a fresh perspective on how employers can construct an effective benefits strategy that caters to the unique needs of each employee. Human resources management is evolving and employee expectations are evolving with it as well. One key aspect of crafting a successful employee benefits strategy is considering age differences. With Re:benefit, employers gain an innovative tool that considers these differences and adapts them for the benefit of all. Healthcare services are the preferred category for all age groups and through Re:benefit, this category provides access to a diverse range of healthcare services.

Sport is prioritised, especially by employees in the age group of 31 to 40 years. Whether it’s gym memberships, sports events, or equipment, the platform offers personalised choices to meet individual preferences.

Examining the data across different age groups reveals some more intriguing trends. Among those in their 30s, “Food Vouchers” make up a small percentage of their budget, in contrast to the funds they allocate for “Gifts and Experiences.” In the “Transport” category, employees aged 31 to 40 invest 56% of their budget, while the “Car Services” category accounts for 66% of this age group.

Re:benefit – an Innovation that Transforms Corporate Benefits

Today’s employers actively seek innovative ways to attract and retain talent. Re:benefit provides them with a solution that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional additional rewards. According to statistics, over 44% of the classic benefits offered are not utilised by employees.

The Re:benefit platform offers freedom and a variety of choices. Currently, more than 80 providers offer over 120 different benefits. “I don’t think there’s a company that would have the internal resources to administer and offer such a variety of benefits to its employees, which is why we represent a revolutionary solution,” says Georgi Georgiev, CEO and co-founder of Re:benefit.

In Bulgaria, over 11,000 employees use Re:benefit, and the company already has offices in Serbia and Turkey as our goal is to create a model for employee benefit management that represents a new HR standard for businesses.