A Guide to Benefits Plans for Employers

5 Steps to Navigating Benefits Plans for Employers

If you want your company to attract top talent, you’ll likely need to focus on more than just wages. You’ll also need an attractive benefits package. In fact, there is some evidence that the comprehensive benefits offered by large companies are one of the main reasons some candidates will choose to apply to a large business instead of a small one. So here’s the question: How do you provide the best for your employees without sacrificing net gain – or at least, too much of it? Here are a few tips to choosing benefits plans for employers.

1. Know Your Legal Requirements

As a business owner, there are some benefits and protections you must provide to eligible employees by law. Funding for these mandatory benefits comes from the taxes you pay as an employer.

Some of these benefits are not recurring expenses, but risks to be factored in, such as FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). While employers don’t normally pay wages for FMLA, some expenses can still occur – hiring a temporary replacement, for example.

Before you figure out which benefits you can offer your employees, don’t forget to factor in the expenses for these non-negotiables.

2. Customize, Customize, Customize

Are you most interested in offering fringe benefits, like free massages or unlimited ice cream to improve employee morale, a la Ben & Jerry’s

Are you looking at health benefits, hoping that by having happy and healthy employees, you’ll decrease sick pay expenses? 

Perhaps you’re thinking long term, hoping that by offering employees a competitive retirement plan, they’ll remain committed to your company. 

Whatever your goals, know that there are many types of traditional and ancillary benefits you can offer, allowing you to create a custom benefits package based on your goals and budget. 

3. Know What Your Employees Want

What demographics comprise your workforce? Parents with young children might be concerned about healthcare or subsidized child care. Students might be more interested in subsidized tuition or continuing education, while middle-aged employees might be thinking more about saving for retirement.

You should know what your employees want, but also what they can afford. Some benefits you offer might be completely covered by you. Others might be partially subsidized by employees who opt to have a portion of their paycheck removed for insurance or retirement. 

If you’re not sure what you should cover or how much employees should be expected to pay, research competitor benefits packages in your industry. Also, consider what’s easiest for your employees, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly payments, for any benefits that employees are partially or fully responsible for.

4. Don’t Write off Healthcare

If you are an Applicable Large Employer, you are legally required to offer affordable healthcare coverage for your employees or pay a penalty. However, the federal government provides specific plans for small and medium-sized businesses to make healthcare coverage affordable. 

In fact, a tax credit is available for qualifying businesses with fewer than 25 employees who offer health insurance. Look into this and other potential benefits before deciding a healthcare plan is out of reach.

5. Explore Retirement Plans

If you opt to offer a retirement plan, know that for a small business owner, it can get very expensive, very quickly. 

Fortunately, there are plans that can be customized to your particular business that will reduce costs. If you explore your options, you won’t be caught off guard with a high price tag.

Benefits Plans for Employers 

Don’t let the initial overwhelm of choosing a benefits package for employers stop you from making a decision. It’s certainly an investment, but when you work with your HR team and insurance broker to bring together a solid benefits package, your business will benefit. By making this investment, you will improve your employees’ lives both inside and outside of work. 

If you’re ready to learn more about benefits plans and how they can improve your business call 630.928.0500 or fill out the form and one of our Benefits Experts will contact you.

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