Are you making the most of your employee benefits package? If you are lucky enough to hold a job “with benefits”, then you owe it to yourself to find out exactly what those benefits entail, so you can take full advantage of the ones that best fit your financial plan.
If you zoned out during your employee orientation seminar, or you don't feel your benefits have ever really been properly explained to you, then it may be time to pay a visit to your HR representative and inquire as to whether any of the following employee benefits are available to you.
401K retirement plan matching
Many employers may match your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement accounts up to a certain percentage. There's no catch. Your employer is essentially offering you free money as an incentive to build your retirement savings.
Life insurance & disability insurance
Your employer may offer you a free or low-cost term life insurance plan as part of your benefits package. You may also be offered a short-term disability insurance plan, so that you're covered in the event of a serious illness or debilitating injury. Either coverage type can help protect you and your family against a serious financial setback.
Some employers offer transit assistance to their employees in the form of full or partial reimbursements for work-related gas expenses, or reimbursements for the costs of traveling to and from work via public transit.
In addition to your health insurance plan, your employer may have separate corporate initiatives to promote physical fitness and emotional wellness throughout the office. Such initiatives might include access to a free office gym, or reimbursement for gym membership elsewhere, or prizes for meeting annual office fitness goals. Your company may also offer you and family members free or low-cost personal or family counseling services, as well as substance abuse support and assistance.
Child care costs can be exorbitant. They can set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month, depending on your locality and number of children. If your office offers free child care in the form of a nursery or after-school babysitting service, that could be a serious boon to your financial plan.