Company or employer, sponsored benefits can make a huge difference to any job, and it’s important to understand the benefits on offer when considering employment. This is especially important when considering salary, as good company sponsored benefits can greatly increase the overall financial package on offer.
Types of Employer Sponsored Benefits
There are numerous different kinds of company sponsored benefits, from health to paid vacation to insurances. Not everyone will offer all benefits, and some benefits will only apply to certain positions within a company, although there are several which tend to be pretty much standard across the work force.
Health Insurance is the most common company sponsored benefit, although the Census Bureau Data of 2010 found that many young workers choose not to enroll – in total, nearly 19 million Americans without health insurance are under the age of 34.
Although there are several factors that influence what you can get, it is important to consider all of these when working out potential out of pocket costs.
- Full or part time – The level of coverage you are offered, as well as when you can join your company’s plan, often depends on whether you work full or part time.
- Complete cover or premiums – some companies offer complete cover, while others expect you to pay a premium.
- Single or family – you may find that some companies will completely cover your policy while giving the option to cover a spouse and family at an extra cost.
Fox News clarifies that several employees will be invalidated for five years or longer. Liability protection is, therefore, a great benefit offered by many firms, usually as an option to buy. Because companies usually get group rate discounts, opting for group disability insurance can be quite inexpensive, but it’s still important to understand the basics:
- What it is – Disability insurance ensures that you still receive money should you become disabled or too ill to work, preventing financial hardship for you and your family. It pays a regular percentage of your income until you return to work.
- The Waiting Period – there is usually a waiting period of between 30 and 90 days before this type of insurance pays out. This is in place to ensure the disability isn’t very short-term.
- The Duration – depending on the policy, many will keep you covered until the end of your working life or retirement. Some, however, do not, and it’s important to be aware of the durability of your own policy.
Another commonly offered company sponsored benefit is life insurance where, in the event of your death, a beneficiary (normally someone you name when you take out the policy) receives a lump sum. Companies usually pay the amount that will ensure a full year’s salary is paid out, and you can purchase optional coverage to increase the payout.
Paid Vacation and Sick Time
This is an important benefit that most people like to have. Usually, paid days off are accrued each month, and the number of days, or hours, that are accrued depend on a number of factors including:
- Usual company policy
- Seniority or position within the company
- Length of time with the company
Business Car Insurance
For some people, in particular CEOs and other senior management, an important benefit is not only the use of a company car, but also its business owner car insurance coverage which often runs into hundreds of dollars. This can actually benefit both employer and employee, as insurance companies are keen to offer many discounts for such policies.
Employer Match can be very beneficial, with many companies offering to match your own 401K contributions up to a certain percent of your salary. Not only will this increase your potential savings, it also increases your earnings, and should be included alongside any salary you get.
Eligibility depends on company policy, but is much easier today than it was 15 years ago.
- Length of service – it used to be that the majority of plans (74%) only allowed employees to contribute to their 401K after several months in employment. Today more than 65% of plans allow contributions from the start of employment, known as Short Service Requirements.
- Company Size – these short service requirements are more common the larger the company, with 75.4% allowing immediate contributions, and 89.7% requiring just three months of employment before the benefit applies.
- Vesting – it is important to understand when you will be fully vested, as all company contributions will be lost if you leave before this date. For just over a third of companies, vesting is immediate. Amongst others, graduated vesting is most common.
Company sponsored benefits can be varied, but understanding them will allow you to make the best financial decision when considering an employment compensation package.