According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits account for more than 30% of a typical job’s salary. It can be difficult to determine the value of your benefits.
It may take some digging to determine how much your employer contributes to health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. Other benefits have non-monetary value and different people may value them differently.
People with certain health conditions, for example, will likely appreciate guaranteed access to life or disability insurance. This is because it’s difficult to obtain or too expensive otherwise. A program that helps with education debt may be more valuable to someone with student loans than someone who doesn’t have student loan debt.
Open enrollment season is back, and it’s a good time to look at your employer’s current offerings. You might be able to renew your commitment to your job or decide it’s time for a new deal. You can learn more about how much you will need to make to replace your benefits if you are considering becoming self-employed.
These are the most popular benefits along with typical employer contributions, according to Mercer (an employee benefits consultant).
Insurance for health: $5,000 to $20,000
The range of employer-provided insurance plans can be very basic or quite extravagant. According to KFF (a health insurance research company), employers paid on average 83% of last year’s $7,739 premium for single coverage and 73% for family coverage.
Paul Fronstin (director of health benefits research at EBRI), says that you can see what your employer and you paid for your insurance in your 2021 W-2. The “DD” code is used to report the annual figure.
Your employer may also be able to deduct its contribution from your pay stub. A pay stub, which is a document that details your gross and after-tax earnings along with other deductions, is what you need. Your company’s online payroll system often allows you to access your pay stub. Ask your human resources department.
Your health insurance coverage is not just about the premiums. You also need to consider co-pays, deductibles, and provider networks. Open enrollment can be confusing because you have access to many different plans. However, it can also help you tailor your coverage to fit your needs.
Retirement savings plan: 3 to 10% of your salary
EBRI survey results have shown that employees value access to retirement plans more than health insurance. Fronstin states that all other benefits are “a distant third”.
According to AARP, people who have workplace retirement plans like 401(k), are more likely to save for retirement. Many of these plans allow for automatic deductions from your paycheck, and you can sign up for them automatically.
Many 401(k), which are often free, offer company matches. These can be a great way to help employees increase their wealth. The most popular matches include 50% of the first 6 months salary that the worker contributes or a dollar for dollar match of 3% to 6.6%.
Employers have the option to contribute a greater portion of their pay to traditional pension plans. These plans promise a specific monthly benefit amount in retirement. This is in contrast to 401 (k)s or other defined contribution plans where the amount you receive in retirement depends on how much you contribute and how well your investments perform.
Although Pensions are still very common in government agencies, colleges, and non-profit health care organizations, only 15% of private sector workers have such access, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
All other: Zero to thousands
Sandra Sweeney (principal in Mercer’s career practice) says that employers who offer dental insurance typically pay between $500 and $2,500 per year. On average, life insurance costs $100 to $300 per employee. Disability insurance typically costs $250 to $1500.
Employers might offer additional coverage such as long-term care insurance, pet insurance, or life insurance. Fronstin states that workers typically pay the entire cost, but they may be able to benefit from group rates.
As a result, it is becoming more popular to help with tuition costs. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, half of employers offer tuition aid. EBRI found that 17% of companies surveyed offered student loan debt assistance, while 31% said they would.
According to the IRS, workers can exclude up to $5250 of tuition assistance from their incomes in their tax returns. The limit also applies to student loan repayment assistance.
Your employer offers benefits to motivate, retain, and reward employees. Fronstin says that if you aren’t sure about your benefits or their value, your human resource department should be able to help you.
Fronstin advises, “Ask your boss.” It’s not a secret .”
This article was originally published by The Associated Press and was written by NerdWallet.