Employment compensation is likely to include more than just your salary. Many employers also offer benefits to their team members. Depending on the benefits available, you might actually earn more from a job that has a lower hourly wage or annual salary but plenty of benefits than you would get from a job with a high salary but few benefits.
Get to know some of the perks and benefits employers often offer their employees and see how each one can help you save or earn more money.
55% of the population is covered by employer-based insurance. The majority of full-time workers (87%) in the U.S. have access to employer-sponsored healthcare benefits, and 74% of full-time workers participate in a health insurance plan sponsored by their employers. If your job offers health insurance, signing up for it can help you save money in a couple of ways.
First, most employers that offer health insurance also pay a portion of the insurance premiums. Although how much an employer will pay varies from company to company, the average company in the U.S. pays 67% of the cost of premiums, meaning the average employee needs to only pay 33% of their premium each month.
For example, if an insurance plan is $300 per month, the average employer would pay $201, and the average employee would pay $99. Over the course of a year, an employee with health insurance through their job would pay $2,412 less than a person who was responsible for the entire $300 premium on their own.
Along with helping you save money on the cost of insurance, having a plan through your employer also helps you save on the cost of medical care.
For example, without insurance, treating a broken leg can cost up to $7,500. A three-day stay in the hospital, something typically required for simple surgeries, might cost around $30,000. Treatment for a severe condition, such as cancer, can range in the hundreds of thousands.
An employer-sponsored health insurance plan limits the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket for any necessary treatments. It can also lower the price of certain treatments, making them more affordable.
Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs
Along with contributing to the cost of employees’ health insurance, many employers also sponsor wellness programs to encourage healthy habits among their team members.
If your job offers a wellness program, it can help you save in several ways. For example, if your employer provides fitness programming, you can save on the cost of joining a gym on your own. Some employers will even pay for gym memberships for their employees or arrange for discounts at certain gyms for their team members.
As of March 2018, 68% of private-industry workers had access to a retirement plan through their employer. For the majority of workers, the option was a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k). With a defined contribution plan, the employee or the employer contributes to the savings account, but there is no guarantee of a set payment when a person reaches retirement age.
Many employers offer what is known as a 401(k) match. They will contribute the same amount an employee does to the account, up to a certain percentage of that person’s annual salary. The 401(k) match is in addition to what you earn in your paycheck. If your employer offers a match, it can be a good way to save more for retirement than you would be able to on your own.
Not every employer offers a 401(k) plan. Some offer defined benefit plans, such as pension plans. With a defined benefit plan, you receive a specified amount each month during retirement, without having to contribute your own money during your working years.
It’s in the best interest of your employer for you to learn and grow as an employee. For that reason, many companies will pay for professional development programs, such as continuing education courses, graduate school tuition, or conferences. Depending on whether you take advantage of programs or not, you can stand to save a great amount of money through them.
For example, if your job is willing to reimburse you for tuition, you can end up getting a graduate degree from a highly rated university for free or for a very reduced cost. One thing to keep in mind if your employer does offer tuition assistance is that you might need to pay income tax on the reimbursement, if it is more than $5,250 (2020) for the year.
It costs a lot to have someone look after your child while you work. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the average annual cost for infant care is $11,842 — which works out to $987 per month. Fortunately, many employers have realized that many of their team members are parents and need childcare during the work day.
Some companies offer free onsite childcare while others will provide a dependent care assistance program, which allows employees to make pre-tax contributions for childcare. If you are looking for a new job and have children, it pays to learn more about the childcare benefits offered by a potential employer.
Corporate and Additional Discounts
While not a specific benefit from your employer, working for some types of companies does provide you with access to discounts and savings you wouldn’t otherwise get. For example, some employers have corporate discount agreements with telecommunication providers, movie theaters, and cultural institutions. Your employer might also offer its team members discounts on the products it makes or the services it offers, helping you save money on your monthly expenses.
PSECU Select Employee Group
Don’t forget to ask your employer about offering PSECU membership as a benefit. If your company is a PSECU Select Employee Group (SEG), all employees can take advantage of great rates and low- or no-fee products and services, such as cash rewards credit and debit cards, free checking, surcharge-free ATMs, and ATM rebates (up to $20 per month for fees charged by out-of-network ATMs if you have direct deposit with us, or up to $8 per month without).
Talk to your employer about the advantages of becoming a PSECU SEG today.