How to make your company’s employee benefits work for you.
In today’s corporate universe, being a 9-to-5 employee has more perks than you might imagine. At most companies, employee benefits surpass free office coffee or annual parties.
These benefits encompass health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and more. Yet, many employees fail to take full advantage of them, forgetting potential financial and personal benefits.
To make the most of this corporate bounty, you’ve got to be a savvy navigator. It would be best if you started by being hyper-aware of the benefits your company is offering. If you dive headfirst into the treasure map of employee benefits, you will know where and how to access them.
We’re here to help you uncover the treasures that your company might be offering!
For those looking for mental peace & good health
1. Health insurance
Healthcare is a significant concern, and employee benefits insurance is as good as a gift from your employer. To maximize this benefit:
- Know your plan and understand the coverage, deductibles, and network of hospitals that are available to you.
- Preventive care is essential to maintain your health and save money. So, use the vaccinations and check-ups your employer offers.
- Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a must to contribute to, if offered, as these funds are tax-advantaged.
2. Digital Coaching
Digital coaching is like having a fitness or wellness trainer at your fingertips. Make the most of the fact that you may avail of one:
- Use digital coaching apps or services to meet your health and fitness goals worldwide.
- These apps will help you stay on top of your progress and keep you accountable and motivated.
For those who plan for the future
1. Family care benefits
Life goes beyond the office; family care benefits save you during tough times that a family member may have:
- Learn what family care benefits your company offers, including maternity care or eldercare support.
- Use these benefits wisely, but know they’re designed to support your family and take some responsibilities off your shoulders.
2. Retirement plans
Retirement benefits help you secure a financially happy future. To optimize these benefits:
- If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contribute as much as possible, especially since some employers also match your contribution.
- Diversify your investment portfolio within your retirement account to lower risk and increase returns.
- Be aware of the vesting program for employer contributions, as you could lose some employer contributions if you jump ship before they’re fully vested.
For those who want work-life balance
1. Paid time off
Most companies offer paid time off during the year, so maximize your holidays by minimizing the number of unpaid days you take off.
- Plan much-needed vacations and personal time well in advance to utilize your PTO.
- Some employers allow you to carry over several unused PTO the following year. Make a note if yours does.
- Work is essential, but your mental health is even more precious. Use PTO for self-care and relaxation when you feel the need.
2. Commuter benefits
You’re in for a smooth ride if your employer offers commuter benefits.
- Utilize pre-tax benefits for public transport or parking costs.
- Some companies even offer incentives for employees who choose eco-friendly travel. So grab that bike, and off to work you go!
3. Gym reimbursement
Your company cares for your physical and mental health, and so should you.
- Your company may have tie-ups with specific gyms or even an in-house gym. Make use of it.
- Alternatively, your company might reimburse some of your gym expenses.
4. Education assistance
Many companies offer tuition reimbursement or education assistance programs for employment growth. To take advantage of these benefits:
- Find out if your employer foots the bill for specific skill improvement courses and pursue certification or take a class to enhance your skills and improve your career.
- But first, get acquainted with all the terms and conditions of the program, including the maximum reimbursement amount, eligible courses, and GPA requirements.
5. Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
In the turbulent sea of life, we all hit rough stretches sometimes. EAPs provide the right resources for mental health support and stress management. To make the most of these programs:
- EAP services are where you should turn when you need support, as they ensure your well-being is a top priority.
- Most EAP services are often confidential. There is space for you to share your concerns without fear of repercussions.
For emergency funds
1. Legal and financial services
Many employers also offer access to legal and financial services. To maximize these benefits:
- Consult experts that your company pays for to solve the problems you need to work out.
- Some companies offer discounts for services like estate planning or financial consultations. Find out if yours does and avail of them.
Employee benefits programs are the hidden gems in your corporate voyage, and uncovering them gives you the secret sauce to a happy work-life balance. It’s all about enjoying the corporate world’s perks while staying true to yourself. So build that retirement treasure chest, focus on your personal, professional, and fitness goals, and let your company support you as you shine brighter and grow.
Want to know more about startups and what it takes to get started? Since 2006, Escalon has helped thousands of startups get off the ground with our back-office solutions for accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, HR, payroll, insurance, and recruiting — and we can help yours, too. Talk to an expert today.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.