Employee Benefits

Finding the Best Employee Benefits

(Because there are just too many to choose from)

Greg Lewerer | May 17, 2018
Employees having discussion in office about benefits

If you like your employees and want to keep them happy, offering them better incentives than just a paycheck and a monthly pizza party could show them you actually care. For that reason, employee benefits can be the perfect way to say, “Thank you for doing stuff here.”

Our expert independent agents will walk you through a handpicked selection of top options to find the benefits that make the most sense to you and your employees.

What Are Employee Benefits?

Basically, employee benefits are designed to offer additional compensation beyond a regular paycheck, and to protect employees in an efficient way. The business will contribute a specified amount of money towards a certain type of insurance or retirement fund (or both) for qualifying employees. 

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Why Do I Need Employee Benefits?

Well, if you'd like to make your job offers more competitive (in addition to salary), having good benefits is a great way to get someone to practically beg you for a job. Benefits offer employees assistance in paying for some of life's annoying expenses. The extra help on your part could lead to a more appreciative team of workers. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Employee Benefits?

An employer may offer these benefits in one of two ways - through group insurance plans, in which all qualifying employees are able to opt-in to the same specific plan the employer selects, or through reimbursement, which works sort of like an allowance for employees to pay towards their own individual plans.

Here are a few of the most common types of benefits out there:

  • Medical: Employers can offer their workers a bit of help by providing group health insurance plans to get them covered, and even contribute towards their health insurance premiums.
  • Dental: Teeth need an insurance plan all their own, and employers may be able to lessen the financial burden of maintaining their employees' pearly whites.
  • Life insurance: In exchange for an employer paying the insurance company, they will pay a designated beneficiary a matched amount if an employee happens to die. 
  • Long-term disability and short-term disability: This kind of coverage will protect employees from losing income should they become unable to work due to injury or illness for an extended period of time.
  • Voluntary vision: Workers most likely rely on their eyeballs to do their jobs properly. You may want to offer your employees insurance for theirs, so they can maintain hard-working, eagle-eye status.

The following benefits operate a bit differently from those above:

  •  HSA/FSA: Health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts are different types of healthcare plans that allow employees to pay for medical expenses and have reduced tax liability. They work similar to personal savings accounts, but the money in them can't be used for vacations and fun things - it must be used for medical expenses.
  • Company match 401(k): Just as it sounds, businesses will match employees’ contributions to their 401(k) retirement plans, through a percentage of their contribution, or through a specified percentage of their total annual salary (typically 3%-6%). So while you're paying them to work, you're also slowly paying for them to retire.

Who Is Eligible for Employee Benefits?

Unfortunately, there's no clear-cut answer to this. Eligibility varies widely from employer to employer - and businesses can basically make up their own rules. 

Here are several examples of eligibility rules:

  • Insurance carriers usually won't offer plans to employees who work less than 20 hours per week. 
  • Most commonly, benefits are offered to employees who work between 30 and 40 hours per week. 
  • 401(k) eligibility requirements are determined on a plan-by-plan basis, and the employer can also set their own rules here (e.g., an employee must work for 90 days before eligible to apply for coverage). 
  • Employers can't discriminate "worthy" employees from incompetent ones (even if they do spend half their shifts texting). If an employee meets plan and policy requirements, they are eligible to receive benefits, period.

Are Employee Benefits Required By Law?

In most cases, they are not required by law, but it’s kind of a jerk move not to have them. However, larger companies can face potential penalties if they don't offer health insurance. 

How Will Employee Benefits Affect Paychecks?

Well, many types of benefits (medical, dental, vision, 401(k) and HSA/FSA) can be deducted on a pre-tax basis, meaning that having them will reduce tax liability (you and your employees will be subject to less tax because the amount earned will be less with benefits deducted). So in that sense, they'll have a positive impact. Also, since the amounts deducted for each benefit will have been predetermined by you or the employee or the plan, they'll come out automatically each time.

What's So Great About an Independent Agent?

Benefits are super-complex. They draw in several intimidating factors, including taxes, laws, different insurance carriers, company rules and different employees' needs. An independent agent's role is to simplify the process.

Independent agents are there to make sure you get the absolute best deal, and the one that meets your unique needs. They shop and compare insurance quotes for you, and they'll break down all the jargon so that you understand exactly what you're getting.

Finding and Comparing Employee Benefits Quotes

Our supremely wise agents will review your needs and help you evaluate which employee benefits make the most sense. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you have the best protection out there. They'll hook you up - in a comprehensive and affordable way.

Now, who's ready to get their insurance problems solved?