Offering Good Benefits Has Its Benefits

Today more than ever, it’s critical for employers to offer a strong benefits package to attract and retain top-notch employees. Studies even suggest that a solid benefits package plays a role in helping improve employee morale. But with the soaring costs of healthcare insurance and other perks, delivering a comprehensive, cost-effective benefits program is becoming increasingly challenging for employers. All of this begs the question: What’s the minimum you must offer to attract and retain employees?

Two of the most important—and expensive—benefits employees look for are medical and dental care. Costs and programs vary by plan and provider, so be sure to shop around. You may consider using a benefits consultant to help you determine what you and your employees need. You should also consider trade associations, where business owners like you can take advantage of group discounts. Group health insurance is an excellent option for smaller organizations that can’t afford big-business-type insurance but want to offer their members quality coverage at a good price.

Another way to help employees with the cost of healthcare is to look into offering Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs). These accounts allow your employees to pay for healthcare costs with pre-tax dollars, thereby making the costs more affordable. Contributions to a Flexible Spending Account are deducted from an employee’s pay prior to taxes and are never reported to the IRS.

Retirement Benefits

With the high cost of living, employees are constantly looking for ways to save for retirement. A solid retirement plan is a great way to attract employees and at the same time reduce your tax burden. If you have a smaller business with fewer employees, you might benefit from a Simplified Employee Pension plan (SEP IRA). A SEP lets you make tax-deductible contributions to your employees, thereby reducing your tax burden. If you have a larger business with multiple employees, you could benefit from a 401(k) plan, which allows employees to contribute to their own savings as well.

Work/Life Balance

Another benefit that can be of great value to employees is workplace flexibility. Allowing employees to share jobs, telecommute, or work flexible hours can go a long way toward building morale and loyalty. The upside is that these benefits don’t require any cash outlay.

Banking and Other Benefits

One benefit that’s often attractive is workplace banking, affording your employees the opportunity to save money through mortgage discounts, no-fee checking accounts, and other money management tools.

There’s no question that offering a benefits package in addition to a competitive salary is critical in attracting and maintaining quality employees. That’s why it’s a good idea to do your homework and shop around for the most cost-effective programs.


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