So now that you’re comfortable with your offer letter, you decide to try to make sense of the benefits package. Here are some key things to consider:
Health, Dental, Vision
• What types of plans does the employer offer? Though which providers?
• How much does the employer contribute to the cost of each plan vs. how much is the employee responsible for?
• Can you contribute to a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Spending Account?
• What type of plan is offered?
• How soon can you begin contributing and when are you fully vested?
• Does the employer match a percentage of the employee contribution? For example, your company matches 50% of your 401(k) contributions, up to 3% of your salary. You elect to contribute 6% of your annual base salary (assume $50,000) to your 401(k) plan, $3,000 annually. Each year, your company would contribute $1,500 (3% of your salary). The total annual contribution to your retirement account is $4,500.
Vacation Time / Sick Time / Holidays
• How many days or weeks of vacation / sick time do you have each year? Does this increase over time?
• How long until you can use it? Can it be rolled over, or is it on a “use it or lose it” basis?
• Does the company follow a standard holiday schedule?
• Many employers provide basic life insurance coverage free of charge, with the option to purchase more.
Tuition Assistance / Reimbursement
• Under what circumstances might this apply?
• Are there dollar limits or limits on the number of courses per year?
• Is reimbursement grade dependent?
Remember to evaluate your offer in terms of TOTAL COMPENSATION (SALARY + BENEFITS)! A generous benefits package equals extra dollars in your pocket!
Next week we’ll conclude this series with Offer Etiquette…