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What's In a Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package?

Offer These Components to Attract and Retain the Best Employees

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Employers of choice provide a comprehensive employee benefits package to attract and retain employees. In addition to a competitive salary, an employee benefits package is a standard – and expected - part of an employee total compensation package.

Smaller employers tend to offer fewer components in the employee benefits package – and sometimes, no benefits at all. But, the majority of large companies and virtually all public sector government employers provide an extensive employee benefits package.

Small businesses that are growing and expanding need to plan a careful phase-in of employee benefits so that as you grow, you continue to attract and retain the talent you need for further growth and expansion. Employers can expand this employee benefits package, as resources allow.

With an almost endless variety of potential employee benefits that are listed in Are You Getting the Best Benefits From Your Benefits? and wished for in What Employee Benefits Would You Love to Have or Offer?, an employer can customize an employee benefits package to the needs and desires of its employees.

These are the components of an attractive employee benefits package. No laws require an employer to offer these voluntary employee benefits.

Health Insurance Is the Foundation of a Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package

Provide Health Insurance as the Most Desired and Needed Employee Benefit
Catherine Yeulet
Health insurance is the foundation of a comprehensive employee benefits package. Health insurance is the preferred employee benefit of the majority of people who work. Health insurance marks an employer as an employer of choice when desirable candidates select job opportunities. If you can currently afford to offer only one employee benefit, make that benefit health insurance for employees and their families.

Paid Time Off From Work

Paid Time Off Is a Valued Part of an Employee Benefits Package
Copyright IoFoto

No comprehensive employee benefits package would be complete without employer paid time off from work. As part of an employee benefits package, employers provide a variety of options for paid time off. Employers provide varying numbers of days that are classified in ways that make sense for the employer and employees. Types of paid time off that regularly appear in an employee benefits package include:

For reasons that include simplicity, lack of desire for employees to account for time off, and the desire to treat employees like intelligent adults, an increasing number of employers are moving toward utilizing Paid Time Off policies that eliminate the separate paid time off classifications such as vacation.

Short Term Disability Insurance Enhances Benefits

Employee Benefits Packages Can Pay Employees When They Can't Work
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Short term disability insurance ensures that an employee will still receive a percentage of income if they cannot work due to sickness or a disabling injury. Short term disability insurance, as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package is recommended. Short term disability insurance provides an important protection for employees who cannot work on a short term basis. You will want to include short term disability insurance in your employee benefits package.

Long Term Disability Insurance Provides a Safety Net for Employees

Disability Insurance Is Appreciated Among Employee Benefits
Loretta Hostettler
Long term disability insurance (LTD) is an insurance policy that protects an employee from loss of income in the event that he or she is unable to work due to illness, injury, or accident for a long period of time. Some estimates state that the average employee with a long term disability misses 2.5 years of work. Others estimate that an employee has a one in five chance of becoming disabled and unable to work for a period of time. Long term disability insurance is one of the most significant components of an employee benefits package.

Dental Insurance Is a Component in an Employee Benefits Package

Dental Insurance Is a Component in an Employee Benefits Package
Catherine Yeulet

Various dental insurance plans are available for employers to offer as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package. Dental insurance plans are designed to help cover the costs employees experience in obtaining necessary dental care, both preventative and emergency. Dental insurance is often available from the employer's health insurance carrier at reduced rates. Consider offering dental insurance as part of an attractive employee benefits package.

Vision Insurance

Vision Insurance Is a Desirable Part of an Employee Benefits Package
Sharon Dominick
Vision insurance is a lower cost addition to a comprehensive employee benefits package that is provided by employers. Vision insurance is often an optional addition to a comprehensive health policy. Vision insurance pays for employees to have regular vision examinations and pays for a percentage of the cost of corrective equipment. Vision insurance is a desirable component of an employee benefits package.

Life Insurance Adds Value to Employer Provided Employee Benefits

Life Insurance Is a Reassurance as Part of an Employee Benefits Package
Pando Hall / Getty Images
Life insurance is an appreciated component in a comprehensive employee benefits package. Sought after employees expect life insurance as a component in an attractive employee benefits package. Find out more about how to provide life insurance as part of your employee benefits package.

401(k) or Other Retirement Plan for Employees

A 401(k) Is an Appreciated Portion of an Employee Benefits Package
Josh Webb

Competitive base pay, health insurance and a 401(k) plan are the must have benefits necessary to attract and keep talent in your company. According to a study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, related in The Human Capital Edge: 21 People Management Practices Your Company Must Implement (or Avoid) to Maximize Shareholder Value, companies that emphasize better employee benefits packages and use them to attract and retain high caliber staff add 7.3% in additional profit to their bottom line. Find out more about a 401(k) as a component in an attractive employee benefits package.

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

A Flexible Spending Account Is a Needed Component in an Employee Benefits Package
Andersen Ross / Getty Images

As health care premiums continue to increase at a rapid rate, employers are continually shifting costs to employees in the form of higher co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. To help offset some of the sting associated with these higher out-of-pocket expenses, many employers are implementing Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans. An FSA plan allows employees to pay for certain unreimbursed healthcare and dependent care expenses with before-tax dollars. A flex plan is a desirable part of your employee benefits package.

Disclaimer – Please Note

Susan Heathfield makes every effort to offer accurate, common-sense, ethical Human Resources management, employer, and workplace advice both on this website, and linked to from this website, but she is not an attorney, and the content on the site, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality, and is not to be construed as legal advice.

The site has a world-wide audience and employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country, so the site cannot be definitive on all of them for your workplace. When in doubt, always seek legal counsel or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. The information on this site is for guidance, ideas, and assistance only.

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