employee-benefits

Should You Offer ID Theft Protection As An Employee Benefit?

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    Should You Offer ID Theft Protection As An Employee Benefit?

As an employer, you likely see the coverage that you offer to your personnel as essential, such as health insurance and pension plans. In an increasingly connected world where the threat of a data breach feels imminent, doesn't it make sense that an identity theft protection service could also be a necessary employee benefit?

Earlier this year, the IRS announced that it would make identity theft protection a tax-free employee benefit regardless of whether a company had already suffered a data breach. Previously, the benefit was only offered tax-free to companies that had experienced a breach.

This move by the IRS indicates a shift toward better preventive measures to help businesses and their employees protect themselves against the threats of identity theft and other types of fraud. Since the IRS made this change, many companies have begun expanding their voluntary benefits and services, including ID theft protection.

According to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, a company specializing in risk management and insurance brokerage, 92 percent of U.S. employers now believe that voluntary benefits and services are an important part of their employee value proposition for the next three to five years, compared to 73 percent in 2015.

"The growth of VBS is widespread among employers of all sizes and in all industries," Amy Hollis, voluntary benefits leader of Willis Towers Watson, said in a release. "The appeal is simple: These programs enrich traditional benefits by offering a high level of personalization to employees while leveraging group purchasing power. Moreover, because these programs are voluntary, they add little or no cost to employers."

In addition to being tax deductible and cost-effective, here are some other advantages to offering an ID theft protection or credit monitoring service to your employees.

It could protect your company

If your employees have the tools to keep their personal information secure, it can also benefit your company. A 2003 study by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that ID theft victims, on average, spend 30 hours resolving the issue. Reginald Ball, president of iSekurity, told the Society for Human Resource Management that this could affect an employee's work.

"This can affect their workload as they are forced to spend time, at least some of which is likely to be on the job, and money to make things right," he said. "If something like this happens to an employee, [he or] she is not going to be focused on her work."

If they have an ID theft protection, they don't have to spend as much time on the clock working through these issues.

It can educate your employees

Ball also noted that offering protection as a benefit can give employees the resources to learn more about the threat of identity theft, and how they can best respond if they've become a victim. You can also host seminars or provide other resources on best online safety practices, which your employees can implement while at work, helping to keep both their information and that of your business safe.

If you're thinking about offering the benefit of identity theft protection to your employees, consider Identity Guard, which can monitor credit files and records, notifying your employees of certain activity that may indicate fraud. This way, your staff will know when it's time to take action, like obtaining a credit freeze, and can better participate in their own security, as well as the overall safety of your company. Offering ID theft protection as an employee benefit is easy and shows your employees that you’re looking out for them. Reach out to Identity Guard Business Solutions today to add this great benefit.

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