Employee benefits are a big consideration when people apply for a job, and tell you a lot about how much a company is willing to invest in an employee. Besides salary, companies might also offer a range of employee benefits.
These should not be thought of as just a perk but as an important part of the well-being of both employees and employers. Studies show that healthy workers are more productive, thus a benefit like health insurance is a double-way resource.
While some companies offer only the basic benefits, others might provide what is known as fringe benefits, perks that improve the mindset and wellbeing of employees. Let’s see what are the most common employee benefits that you could receive or offer (if you are a business owner) and how to use them.
Types of employee benefits
1. Health Insurance
Health insurance is one of the most important and frequent benefits. What it includes may vary, depending on what plans the company offers. A basic one would include visits to doctors, hospitalization, and emergency care. More extensive plans can include a dental plan, eye checkups, prescription glasses, etc.
When getting a new job you will receive a health insurance plan booklet where you can check all the benefits included in your current plan. You can use it to make doctor’s appointments and in case of hospitalization, the hospital bill will be covered by your insurance.
2. Life Insurance Employee Benefits
It is no pleasure thinking ahead of a potential critical illness or your death, especially if you are young. But the truth is, we never know what will happen and when, so it’s better to be safe than sorry by investing in life insurance. Some employers offer life insurance as an employee benefit. With the help of life insurance, a beneficiary will receive the sum of money in case of death, terminal illness, or injury, depending on the terms of the contract.
3. Disability Insurance
Some companies top health benefits by adding disability insurance. If you get injured or have a long illness this insurance will cover financially the period when you can’t work. If you ever find yourself in this situation and your employer offered you this benefit, you can use it, according to the insurance contract you have signed.
4. Retirement Savings
Retirement is something a lot of young people don’t usually think about because it seems very far away in time. But if an employer offers this type of benefit, you should know it is a good and safe investment. You won’t see the money soon, but when the time comes for you to retire it will come in more than handy. The extra payments coming from this benefit will sweeten the gold years.
5. Medical Leave Employee Benefits
The truth is we all get sick at some point and working while feeling miserable is not something recommended, given the fact that our bodies need rest to heal. Just like a healthy worker is more productive, so does a sick worker underperform. When you get sick you can stay at home and still be paid by having the medical leave benefit.
You can use this employee benefit by announcing your supervisor in advance when you have a doctor’s appointment so you can leave the office. If you are sick and you stay at home or in the hospital you will have to provide certification from your healthcare provider for your employer. Some medical leave plans include paid days when you care for a sick close family member, such as your spouse or child.
6. Employee stock purchase plans
Companies that are listed on the stock exchange can offer their employees a benefit in the form of a stock package with shares so they can invest in their own company. Some offer this benefit from the beginning of the collaboration, some as a perk for high-performing employees or for those who’ve been with the company the longest. Employee stock purchase plans will differ from company to company. If you get this type of benefit take some time to learn about the stock market and all the ways you can start investing further.
7. Student loan refinancing
This benefit will help you lower your interest rate, so keep an eye on companies that offer this type of perk. Student loan refinancing means that a company will pay off your loan and offer you a new one, with a lower interest rate. To better use this benefit you should know everything about the money you owe so that you take the best decision for your new interest rate and the years that you will pay off the debt.
Fringe employee benefits
Some companies want to go an extra mile for their employees so they add fringe benefits. Some offer this type of benefit to motivate their employees and raise their life-work satisfaction.
Wellness and Gym Memberships
A monthly/yearly subscription to a local gym and wellness center paid by your employer, as an incentive to invest in your health. Some memberships offer free entrance for a family member as well.
Transportation Employee Benefits
Some companies will pay for the gas you use to drive to and from work each day or for your train/bus tickets.
Work from Home
This benefit has become a norm in today’s pandemic situation, but having this as part of your employment package is an asset to use long term. Some companies offer this benefit for as long as you want, meaning you will work fully remote, or on a specific flexible schedule. Working from home has shown an increase in worker’s productivity.
Bookstore subscription plan
Some employers like to have well-informed and cultured employees, so they offer different bookstore subscription plans.
No matter what employee benefits you will get, remember they are a small aid on your journey to achieving financial independence.