In War for Talent, Employers Add New Perk: Fertility Benefits 

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In light of the Great Resignation and an increasing war for talent, employers have been adding various perks to attract and retain employees. One of the newest perks is fertility benefits, which companies often overlook, partly due to the high costs, according to a report.

The Mercer report shows that whether or not an employer covers infertility treatments is strongly related to its size. About a third (32%) of small employers, those with 50 to 499 employees, cover some type of infertility service, compared with 61% of large employers, those with 500 or more employees, the report noted.

The prevalence of this benefit also varies by industry, the report found, as among all employers with 500 or more employees, 11% covered egg freezing in 2020 compared to 5% in 2015. However, among respondents of this size in high-tech industries, 27% cover egg freezing, perhaps in an effort to improve attraction and retention of female employees, according to the report.

Angela Sposato, chief human resource officer at 5W Public Relations, told GOBankingRates that in an effort to attract candidates, many companies market their workforce as a family or family-friendly environment.

“If you want to support that statement, your benefits need to embrace the lifestyle and experiences of your employees outside of their 9-to-5s, and for many that reality is fertility assistance and family planning,” Sposato said. “Not only will offering family planning as a benefit attract top talent, but it will also garner respect from those employees not even looking to utilize it because you’re recognizing an area of healthcare, that affects both men and women, that for too long has been overlooked and is still being overlooked by many.”

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Indeed, this benefit could be attractive to many employees, as about 1 in 8 couples, or 7.4 million Americans, struggle with infertility, according to Fortune. That number is likely low, given it’s based on the number of Americans who seek treatment, which can be so prohibitively expensive that many couples don’t even try, Fortune added.

Carrot Fertility, a  global fertility solution company, said on its website that companies across industries, including Spotify, Facebook, Bank of America, Starbucks, Clif Bar and Masterclass, have added fertility benefits in recent years. And the trend is growing, as companies are expanding their offering. In 2022, 63% of employers plan to cover fertility services beyond the diagnosis of infertility.

“As awareness of family-forming benefits has grown, they’ve become an important tool in the war for talent — a challenge for employers that has already spilled into 2022,” according to an article on the company’s website. “Increasingly, employees expect fertility benefits and will change jobs to get them if they need to.” Seventy percent of millennials and 90% of those experiencing infertility are willing to change jobs for fertility benefits, the article said. “These surveys reiterate what many businesses and employees already know: the demand for fertility care will continue to grow, and businesses must respond if they want to compete for talent.”

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