The majority of benefits workers receive on-the-job are voluntarily provided by employers.
Benefits employers are required by federal or state law to provide are few in number. Most workers are familiar with these mandatory benefits:
- Family and Medical Leave
- Unemployment Insurance
- Worker’s Compensation
- Social Security (employee & employer tax)
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) employee benefits represent almost 30.3% of total compensation paid by employers. The primary reason employers provide benefits is to attract and retain qualified workers. Additionally, employers believe that workers who understand the total value of their compensation (salary and benefits) are dedicated and loyal employees.
All employees should be fully knowledgeable about their employer-sponsored benefits, especially since life events are always evolving. Employee orientations provide the opportunity for new employees to get the details on the various options. Benefit fairs enable current employees to be kept up-to-date on benefit changes. Individuals seeking employment should be proactive in assessing whether a prospective employer’s benefit package meets their current life-stage needs and facilitates their future financial security.
A preview of employer-sponsored voluntary benefits brings employees into agreement with employers that a benefit package is important. Group benefits improve the quality of workers’ lives. Few employees can afford the costs of benefits for themselves and their dependents. Unfortunately many workers either cannot afford these reduced-cost benefits or do not have benefits at work. Many fall into the category “working uninsured.”
Employee benefits range from essential needs like health insurance to non-essential benefits like the expense of commuting to work. The following list highlights many of the benefits employers voluntarily offer their employees. More than likely no single employer offers all of the benefits listed. Employers main objective is to facilitate their employees health and retirement security.