42% of employers are increasing their benefits this year. Here are 4 to watch

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It’s not just the salary that counts. It’s important to look for the right workplace benefits package.


Key points

  • A recent survey reveals that many companies plan to increase their benefits to attract and retain talent.
  • If you are looking for a new job, consider the value of the benefits offered to you, such as insurance and pension plans, in addition to salary.

Many people are quitting their jobs these days to find a better one. If you’re one of them, you might have a certain salary in mind, one that allows you to easily pay your bills while still having money for your savings.

But when considering a job offer, it’s important to look at your total compensation, and that includes any benefits offered by an employer. In a recent Monster.com survey, 42% of companies said they were increasing employee benefits this year – no doubt with the aim of keeping current workers on board while attracting new ones. If you are looking for or evaluating a job offer, here are some advantages that could be very useful to you.

1. Paid leave

Some workplaces don’t offer a lot of paid time off. And that could put you in a tough spot, especially at a time when COVID-19 is still circulating a lot, and exposure to the virus could lead to work absences. An employer that offers a generous amount of paid time off may be worth working for, especially ones that distinguish between vacation and sick time to ensure you get both.

2. Subsidized or free health insurance

The cost of health insurance can weigh on your budget, even if your employer helps you pay for this tab. But if a given company is willing to generously subsidize that cost, or better yet, cover it entirely, that’s a benefit you shouldn’t overlook.

3. Matching dollars for your retirement plan

Many companies offer 401(k) plans that help workers save for retirement. Contribution to one of these schemes is generally optional. But many employers who offer these plans also have matching programs – this means that if you invest a certain amount of your own money, your employer will match it. If you have a job offer whose benefits package includes a substantial 401(k) match, that’s actually a pile of free cash you could get your hands on.

4. Grants for gym or fitness equipment

Some workplaces want to do their part to promote healthy lifestyles among employees, so they are willing to pay subsidies for gym or fitness equipment. Granted, a lot of people are skipping the gym these days during the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can find an offer that comes with an annual grant of $300 that you can use to buy a new bike, weight bench, or treadmill, for example.

Benefits can have a lot of value, both financially and otherwise. If you’re thinking about getting a new job, don’t underestimate the importance of a solid benefits package. And just as important, don’t just focus on salary when researching offers, because in some cases, a solid benefits package could be worth more than a raise in your salary.

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