Freedom to Choose…When it Comes to Benefits Options

Giving your employees the freedom to choose their own benefits can improve employee happiness and commitment to the company.



It's a fact: the more satisfied employees are, the happier and more committed they are to your company. With benefits playing a critical role to employee satisfaction, it’s critical for employers to identify which benefits appeal most to their organization. Here are four questions to ask when considering a total package for employees.

1. Which benefits are typically included in a compensation package?

At a minimum, experts suggest any size organization should offer the following:

  • Retirement Plans
  • Health Insurance Options
  • Life Insurance
  • Paid Time Off

The specific plans that are offered should be catered to your employees’ wants and needs, leading to the next three questions.

2. What are the labor demographics of your organization?

Depending upon employee size and demographics of the workforce, there are numerous choices to be made concerning health insurance. For many organizations, there are now four generations of employees in the workforce:

  • Silents (Born between 1925 and 1946)
  • Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964)
  • Generation Xers (Born between 1965 and 1980)
  • Millennials (Born after 1980)

In general, Silent and Millennial generation employees care more about cash than healthcare (Medicare coverage is available for most employees in the Silent Generation, and Millennials will likely still have coverage through a parent or be more willing to go without medical coverage). Baby Boomers and Xers, however, care much more about health insurance options.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded the options and confusion for most small employers. And in reality, the best option this year may change next year depending on growth and/or future law changes. Please contact our benefits experts to help explain the options.

3. Do you know what your employees want?

Although we have general data, every person is different – and with the unemployment rate in several states now lower than what many economists consider full employment, it’s more critical than ever to know how to retain and attract key talent. The best way to know exactly what your employees want is to simply ask them. You can:

  • Create a survey
  • Conduct “stay” interviews; and/or
  • Ask specifically about benefits in exit interviews.

By asking questions, information regarding insufficient benefits offerings may become evident. For more information, please contact us.

4. Are employees looking for a tax advantage?

Employee contributions for many group-sponsored health insurance plans can reduce federal income tax, FICA, and state income tax (in most states). Contributions to flexible spending arrangements (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) receive similar tax treatment. In addition to tax-eliminated benefits, employer-sponsored retirement plans can offer both income tax-deferred and future income tax eliminated (Roth) options. For information on how to make any of these tax-advantage options available to your employees, please contact us.

Finding a mix of benefit options that appeal across generations is difficult, but not insurmountable. Leveraging's economies of scale allows your benefit offerings to finally compare with those of large companies, which will help you attract and retain key employees.  For more information, please contact us.

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