Employee Benefits


Rob Barr
Benefits that will come with a job might not make you take the job just because of that. But It could have major influence over your decision. Flexible scheduling, paid time off, and child care were singled out as key programs that impress job candidates. (http://www.amcity.com/)3 Employee benefits are becoming a major part of what employees are looking for from their companies. And in return companies are looking at their benefit packages trying to trim benefits that are not benefiting anyone. Or basically trying to get the most for their buck without upsetting their employees.
Benefits also can be a way to motivate employees into better enjoying their jobs. By employers surveying their employees to see what kind of needs they have, they can better suit the benefits for their employees. Surveying is a primary tool for better understanding employees’ desires, and the migration of those desires.1(http://www.amcity.com/) And it is a good way of getting rid of unwanted benefits without upsetting the employees as much, because this is what they wanted.
This paper will cover the topic of employee benefits, How they have evolved through time?, What types of benefits are being offered now?, and What benefits are required by law and which are not?
EVOLUTION OF BENEFITS
Employee benefits, once known as fringe benefits, use to be only given to a select few employees. During World War II, there was a pay freeze in effect. Employers wanting to pay more to attract employees couldn’t, so the stepped up the benefits offered to the employees. It was at this time that employee benefits started to grow and bring us to where we are today with all kinds of benefits.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BENEFITS
Over time there has been a large increase in the different types of benefits introduced into the workplace. With benefits initially introduced to attract potential employees, there have been some very good ideas and some very bad ones. To start out lets first list the benefits that are out there.
Retirement and Savings Plans
Life Insurance and Death Benefits
Medical Coverage
Paid Vacations and Holidays
Sick Leave
Personnel Time/Flex Time
Parental Leave
Discounts
Child care
Employee Assistance Programs
Most companies have some type of retirement plan set up. It could be in the form of a savings plan, 401k, pension plan or whatever they call it. There are two category types of pension plans. They are 1) contributions from the employer and 2) amount of pension benefits to be paid. Under these different types there are four different types of plans. They are:
Contributory Plan- A pension plan where contributions are made jointly by employees and employers
Noncontributory Plan- A pension plan where contributions are made solely by the employer
Defined-Benefit Plan- A pension plan in which the amount on employee is to receive upon retirement is specifically set forth
Defined-Contribution Plan- A pension plan that establishes the basis on which an employer will contribute to the pension fund2
A spinoff of the pension plan is the 401k plan, which is named after the section in the Internal Revenue Code. This plan is becoming more popular since its introduction because it is tax deferred and it is taken out by payroll deductions.
Since the 1992 Presidential election, health care has been on the hot seat for a lot of companies. There are usually two different types of health care available for employees. Health maintenance organizations(HMOs) which are organizations of physicians and health care professionals that provide a wide range of services to subscribers and dependents on a prepaid basis. And Preferred provider organization (PPO) which is a hospital or group of physicians who establish an organization that guarantees lower health care costs the employer.2
And since health care costs are on the rise companies are finding ways to combat this. Their result are wellness programs. Studies show employee absenteeism is reduced when wellness programs are implemented. In a study at Prudential Insurance, disability days were 20 percent lower and disability-per-capita costs were 32 percent lower after implementing a wellness program. In addition, annual medical costs fell by 46 percent.(http://www.amcity.com/)4 The whole reasoning behind wellness programs is to lower health costs, but in return they have also reduced absenteeism, on the

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