Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How to Optimize Your Employee Benefits Package for Financial Success

Employees have several compensation and benefits that can help them reduce money stress, save for retirement, and improve their financial well-being. Whether you work at a headquarters or remotely, financial professionals who specialize in working with employees often best answer questions about your benefits and compensation package.

Invest in Your Future

Whether you work at the Boeing headquarters, another location around the country, or remotely from home, there’s no doubt that your career has many Boeing employee benefits. You can save for retirement with a 401(k) and other savings and investment options. The company also offers education assistance for employees interested in furthering their careers. And, if you need to fulfill civic duties like serving on a jury, the company pays your regular salary while you’re out of work. The company may offer equity compensation through stock options and restricted share units (RSUs). These perks give you a stake in the company, meaning you can profit when the company’s value rises. However, it’s essential to understand the different types of equity compensation and how they are taxed. When accepting a job offer, you should negotiate your equity compensation, like your cash salary. Then, you can determine if selling your shares acquired through ESPPs or RSUs makes sense.

Take Advantage of Paid Time Off

Time off is essential for many employees because it allows them to refresh, recharge and refocus on their long-term goals. However, if an employee is unsure how to use their paid time off benefit or has a hard time making the most of it, they may need the guidance and expertise of a financial professional. Companies that offer flexible PTO often see fewer unscheduled absences than those with a more traditional system of separate vacation, sick and personal days. This is because, with an integrated time off policy, the HR department only has to track one bank of paid time off hours instead of three. It also gives employees the freedom to take time off when they want without having to explain it to their bosses. Plus, it allows them to roll over unused vacation days so they don’t lose them. That helps them avoid feeling burnt out and more likely to leave the company.

Maximize Your Health Care Coverage

Healthcare coverage is a crucial driver of employee recruitment and retention. Research shows that employees are more engaged at work and miss fewer days because of health issues if they’re happy with their employer-sponsored insurance. Some companies offer their employees robust coverage options to help mitigate the risk of medical bills. These include Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow employees to dedicate tax-exempt funds to qualifying health expenses. HSAs are paired with high-deductible health plans and accrue value over time, while FSAs take a “use it or lose it” approach annually.

Save for Retirement

A well-conceived financial strategy can help employees better understand their retirement cash flow, establish their acceptable risk level and grow their retirement assets. It can also leave them better prepared to manage whatever life throws. In your 30s and 40s, saving at least 10% of your salary toward retirement as much as possible to maximize the company match and take advantage of catch-up contributions available after age 50 is a good idea. A recent study found that workers who don’t maximize their plan matches leave $1,336 in potential extra retirement money on the table each year. Once you’re close to retirement, reviewing your budget and expenses with a financial professional can be beneficial to ensure your savings are sufficient to meet your anticipated needs. Also, carefully considering your retirement essentials is important—from choosing between a lump sum or lifetime annuity to maximizing your company pension and other benefits.