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Attracting and Keeping Great Talent with Your Benefits Package

The strong jobs market and record unemployment have made it increasingly more difficult to attract and retain valuable employees; however, a strong benefits package including services like financial planning is a great way to keep your talent pool strong. Offering employees top-tier benefits can make or break a job offer or be the difference between keeping your company’s MVP or not. As financial advisors and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, our job is to help our clients understand their workplace benefits and incorporate them into their financial plans. We see a lot of different benefits packages and have some insight into what benefits are nice to have and which are becoming must-haves. Here are our thoughts on what elevates a good benefits package to a great one:

  • Paid Time Off
    • This seemingly standard benefit can play a major role in the decision-making process when choosing between two jobs. Tacking on a few extra vacation days may just sweeten the pot enough to attract greater talent. 
  • Paid Parental Leave
    • We are increasingly seeing paid maternity/paternity leave factor into our clients’ decision to stay with their current employer or to jump ship. Word that an employer is providing both new moms and dads with a little extra time to bond with their newborn spreads fast and may even improve employee’s mental health, which can lead to increased productivity.
  • Health Insurance
    • Healthcare costs have soared over the past few years, making this one of the most expensive benefits to administer for employers. That’s often made employer-provided health insurance a major sticking point in people’s employment decisions, particularly when kids are factored into the equation. Top-tier health insurance benefits not only help to attract and retain talent, but also help your employees stay healthy and keep working.
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
    • Few people are aware of both their own workplace disability benefits and the statistical likelihood of enduring a long-term disability. The fact is one in four employees in the U.S. will become disabled for three months or more at some point during their career. Often, employer provided coverage will cover roughly half of an employee’s base salary, with many group disability plans offering no coverage at all for commissions.
  • Life Insurance
    • The biggest gap we find in our client’s financial plans is life insurance coverage. While the odds of dying unexpectedly are admittedly much lower than becoming disabled, the impacts on one’s family are arguably greater. Many employers will offer life insurance to employees in an amount equal to one year’s salary. Great companies may offer 2x salary.
  • Retirement Benefits
    • This is where we see some of the most variance between employer’s benefits packages. Matching 401(k) deferrals up to a specified percentage of income limit and profit sharing are the most common retirement benefits we come across. The difference between fractional matching (matching 50 cents on the dollar) and dollar-for-dollar matching up to a specified limit can be thousands of dollars in additional compensation. Whereas many employee benefits can be hard to quantify, retirement benefits are normally easy to translate into dollars, making them one of the most important pieces of a company’s benefits package.
  • Golden Handcuffs
    • An often underused and unknown strategy to attract and retain key talent is through what’s called a golden handcuff strategy. Put simply, this is when an employer defers compensation to an employee (typically a key employee) to a later payout date for staying with a company for a specified amount of time. Often times life insurance is used to do this, where an employer takes out a whole life insurance policy on the employee, pays the premiums, and once the allotted time has passed, the employee receives the policy, which has cash value. If the employee leaves the company before the allotted time, the company keeps the life insurance policy, which they can choose to keep on the ex-employee or cash in on.
  • Financial Planning Services
    • When most people think of financial planning, they focus on the potential cost and the uncertainty of where to go for sound advice. Including financial planning services as a benefit to employees can eliminate both of those fears and provide relief to those who likely need the advice the most. According to a GOBankingRates study from 2019, 28% of Americans age 55 and over have no retirement savings, and another 28% have less than $50k. Providing access to experienced and credentialed financial planners provides a critical resource for employees who otherwise may never seek the advice that they so desperately need. Some financial advisors include this service as part of administering a 401(k) plan, while others may charge an additional fee. Either way, it’s a great way for employers to show that they care deeply about the well-being of their employees.

There are dozens of potential offerings that employers can choose from for their company’s benefits package. Selecting the right benefits - and the ones that provide the most bang for your buck - can be tricky. Coordination between human resources and outside advisors who have experience analyzing benefits packages is key to building the right mix to attract and retain the best employees.

If you need help reassessing your benefits, whether as an employer or employee, give us a call. We can help ensure you’re optimizing your benefits and incorporating them into your financial plan.

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