Do your employees appreciate their fringe benefits?

At this time of year, you’re probably putting together your business budget for 2007. As you work on the payroll numbers, it’s always surprising how much the cost of fringe benefits adds to base wages. And if you offer health insurance to your employees, that number has probably been increasing even faster.

What’s disappointing is that most employees have no idea how much the company pays on their behalf. That’s why you should consider preparing a personalized statement for each employee, showing the value of their company-provided fringe benefits.
Although it may sound complicated, your accountant or bookkeeper should be able to produce the numbers quickly and easily.

Begin with premiums you pay for health, life, and disability insurance. Include costs you pay for any other benefits, such as parking or transit passes.
Add in any dollars you contribute for the employer match in your 401(k) plan. Or if you offer a profit sharing plan, include those contributions.
Include the company’s share of Medicare and social security taxes paid for each employee. Employees would have to pay that themselves if they were self-employed. You can also include costs for unemployment and workers' compensation insurance if you want to be really precise.
Conclude the statement by listing the hours of paid vacation or sick leave that you grant.
The end result is likely to be an impressive total for each employee. The statement should give your employees a new appreciation for their overall salary package. It’s also a useful tool when you discuss salaries.

Don’t overlook low-cost ways to boost your existing benefits. If you’re in an urban area, consider offering free transit passes. You may get a special deal from your local transit authority, and the benefit will appeal especially to your lower-wage employees. Even better, consider offering no-cost benefits such as flex-time. If it works with your business, consider half-day Fridays in the summer months, with slightly longer hours on other weekdays. Employees will love arrangements that simplify their lives or give them longer weekends.

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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