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Understanding Employee Benefits Packages

Having access to a complete benefits package is a large part of why employees stay with companies. Here are a few benefits to look for.

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Along with a competitive salary, having access to a complete benefits package is a large part of why employees stay with companies. While there are federal and state mandated benefits, employers can provide unique benefits to attract potential employees. Here are a few benefits to look for when reviewing a company’s compensation package.

Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most significant parts of a benefits package. Most large companies will offer medical, dental, and vision plans to accommodate the needs of their employees.

Some factors to consider are the types of plans offered, what expenses are covered, and how much you’ll pay for deductibles and co-insurance. Another thing to note is whether an employer offers assistance with out-of-pocket costs by contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA) on your behalf.

Although not always something that’s top of mind, having affordable options for life insurance, disability insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is another great benefit that’s often included in an employee benefits package.

Retirement

While thinking about retirement can feel a bit far-fetched to some, ensuring that a 401(k) or other employee-sponsored retirement plan is made available is important.

One thing to consider is whether or not your company matches contributions to your 401(k) up to a certain amount or percentage. If they do, find out when you’d become eligible and familiarize yourself with the company’s vesting schedule, or how long you have to work for them before you have full ownership of employer contributions.

Incentives like this are a great way to build your retirement fund as some employers match up to 3-6% of an employee’s eligible contributions.

Time Off

Another notable part of a complete benefits package is paid leave. While it’s common for companies to offer paid vacation, sick, holiday, and/or personal days, it’s helpful to note how these days accumulate, how many can be used at once, and if they roll over.

Also make note of benefits like Family and Medical leave; while you may not plan to expand your family or care for a loved one, it’s a valuable benefit to have if needed in the future.

Extras

Lastly, additional perks to look for are tuition assistance or reimbursement, employee assistance programs, and other things like legal benefits and employee discounts. Even pet insurance, free parking, and wellness programs that offer discounts on gym memberships are small but helpful benefits to have if they meet your needs.

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