For many companies, benefits enrollment happens in the later part of the year- October, November, December. If you missed your OE period this year, you can still take advantage of other benefits that do not require making a decision during the special open enrollment period. Not all companies offer all benefits listed below, so be sure to check your company’s benefit package to see what’s available to you.
Deferred Compensation Retirement Plans aka 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plans An eligible employee can enroll any time during their employment. In addition, it is possible to change both amounts contributed as well as investments at any time. Often a retirement plan provider can also give financial advice on investing within the plan.
Employee Stock Purchase Plan Employees are able to put money aside every pay period and purchase company stock at a discount every quarter. Enrollment is necessary to take advantage of this benefit, but it can be done at any time and can be cancelled at any time.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The EAP is a confidential service that provides referrals and advice for employees to help deal with work-life issues, family stressors, relationship problems, financial or legal concerns. No special enrollment is needed, and it is a company paid benefit.
Healthy Life Style Programs These often include discounted or free gym membership, a reduction in health care premiums with participation and services of a dietician.
Philanthropy and Volunteering When an employee donates to a non-profit, some companies match up to a certain dollar amount per year. In addition, an employee may be able to take paid time to volunteer at a non-profit and the company may pay the non-profit a stipend for those hours.
Student Loan Refinancing As the burden of student loans is weighing down many employees, some employers are facilitating refinancing of those loans at more favorable terms through outside vendors.
Tuition Reimbursement If an employee goes back to college while working to complete either an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree, the IRS allows compaines a tax-free benefit to cover some of the costs. A company may pay more towards education and the additional amount will be taxable.
Financial Wellness Programs More and more employers are realizing that financial stresses lead to less productive employees and are offering financial education on a number of topics via different mediums.
Family Leave Some companies offer paid family leave for taking care of family members including being a parent and being a caregiver to a parent. The amount of paid time off differs for each type of leave if offered.
Discounts Some companies may have a discount program that offer on a wide range of items including computers, home goods, dining out and clothing.
To maximize utilization of employee benefits, they need to be understood. Be sure to take some time to learn about your company’s benefit package and be sure to maximize the value of your employee benefit package- you’ve earned it!