What Benefits Should I Look For?

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Many jobs include a number of benefits, like health insurance, as part of their overall compensation packages, and when you consider a job offer, it’s important to include those benefits in your calculations. Once you’ve received an offer, look for the following benefits, which can significantly sweeten the pot beyond what you receive as salary.

– Health, dental, and vision insurance. Health care coverage is offered by many employers, but despite the impact of recent health care reform, not all coverage is alike. You may need to make a contribution to your premiums, and your options in terms of which doctors you can see may be limited by the plans available through your employer. Dental and vision insurance options can vary in utility based upon how often you need them, as well.

– Retirement benefits. Some companies offer 401(k) accounts, which are tax-privileged investment plans. The best benefit packages also provide matching funds for employees who make deposits into their retirement accounts.

– Disability and life insurance. In order to provide their employees with greater peace of mind, some companies offer disability and life insurance. Disability insurance provides compensation to the employee if he or she loses income due to a disability, while life insurance provides a payout to the employee’s survivors in the event of his or her death.

– Wellness or employee assistance programs (EAPs). Wellness programs are a relatively new benefit, but many companies have embraced them as a way to keep employees motivated and engaged. EAPs can help employees with a number of life tasks, ranging from managing stress and losing weight to creating a budget. Many EAPs can also be used by an employee’s immediate family members.

– Perks. On top of the bigger benefits listed above, some companies provide employees with smaller perks that can make their lives easier. Perks vary widely from company to company, but more popular examples include onsite childcare, dry cleaning, reimbursement for tuition, and health club memberships.

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