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The Value of Employer Benefits

3 min read

30 sec brief

If you’re like many people, you may look for the salary or hourly wage when you first evaluate a job opportunity. Though the posting may list the benefits, you may not realize the value they bring to the position. Be sure to look at the entire package, including the pay and benefits, as it may…

If you’re like many people, you may look for the salary or hourly wage when you first evaluate a job opportunity. Though the posting may list the benefits, you may not realize the value they bring to the position. Be sure to look at the entire package, including the pay and benefits, as it may be better than what first meets the eye.

Employers can offer many benefits, let’s examine the most common types of benefits.

Time Off

Time is money, and it’s even better when you get your time and money! Getting paid not to work is an amazing benefit. Some employers provide paid vacation time, though the amount varies considerably. Most employers offer time off benefits in the form of paid holidays, vacation days, personal days or sick leave.

Insurance

As healthcare costs continue to rise in the United States, health insurance is often considered the golden ticket in a benefits package. However, not all health insurance is created equal, so it is essential to study what the employer is offering.

If your employer offers a high deductible health plan, talk to them to see if you are eligible to open a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are an amazing tool to help save for health care costs, and as the money rolls over year to year, you don’t have to worry about losing your contributions.

There are other types of insurance employers offer that add value to the overall compensation plan. Disability, supplemental health, dental and life insurance are examples of other insurance types you may receive from an employer.

Retirement

Retirement benefits are often offered by employers in one of two ways. Some employers will make matching contributions to an employees 401(k) (or similar) accounts. Additionally, employers may make profit sharing contributions directly to the employee’s retirement account. Employer contributions add up and grow as time moves on, helping create a nest egg for your retirement years.

Pro tip: If you’re able to open a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use it to help save for retirement. HSA account balances grow tax-free, any dividends, interest or capital gains earned are non-taxable. Funds in an HSA can grow untouched as long as you like, however, once you reach 65 and are eligible for Medicare, you cannot contribute any longer. With an HSA, you don’t have to begin withdrawing funds at a certain age like other types of retirement accounts. You can use an HSA to help pay for health care costs and save for retirement! A win-win!

Government Benefits

The money withheld from our paychecks fund several government program benefits. Many of us realize that our money funds Medicare and Social Security, and we will reap those benefits once we hit retirement age. In addition, government programs such as worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance are funded. Our contributions are pretty small for what can be extremely valuable benefits when we need them most.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Finally, be sure to evaluate the fringe benefits many employers offer. Fringe benefits include things such as employee parking, gym memberships, tuition reimbursements, and others. These benefits can add a lot to your overall compensation, though their value may be missed if you only concentrate on the salary or hourly wage.

To get the most from your employee experience, delve into the offered benefits and take advantage of the perks that work for you.

Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.

About the author

Vicky Warren

Vicky Warren, once a nurse, now a freelance healthcare writer and social media coach.

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