employee benefits priorities

Reconsidering your employee benefits priorities

employee benefits priorities

As your employees settle into their post-pandemic workflow, you’re probably noticing that they don’t want business-as-usual. Whether their families battled the virus or not, they have all endured a life-changing event. Just like workers in all business environments, your employees are assessing their lives, reevaluating their careers, and reconsidering their employment options. 

After a year of unprecedented medical and personal experiences, employees can easily detect holes in their benefits plans. But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to offer enough benefits to retain every dissatisfied employee. For most, retention is often a matter of reconsidering your employee benefits priorities and providing the support they need. 

What do employees want?

The Society for Human Resource Management, a national human resources employee organization, asks this question each year. In 2020, they surveyed 2,504 active HR professionals. Respondents provided answers based on their experiences. Their Employee Benefits in 2020: Executive Summary report discusses their primary findings. 

Based on SHRM’s research, benefits that supported remote work, caregiving, and health became essential during the pandemic. These include: 

  • Healthcare, including mental health, telemedicine services, and wellness
  • Family-Friendly Benefits: sick leave, time off to care for children and adult family members, paid foster care
  • Flexible work options

Employees still want traditional options such as retirement plans, educational assistance, and health insurance. However, by implementing a Cafeteria Plan, you can also allow employees to select the additional benefits they prefer. 

Consider Cafeteria Plan options 

An IRS Section 125 Cafeteria Plan allows employees to tailor their benefits to their needs. For your plan to comply with IRS guidelines, you must include a schedule of taxable and nontaxable benefits. When you comply with their guidelines, the IRS doesn’t require you to withhold FICA, FUTA, Medicare, or income taxes from pre-tax contributions. Cafeteria Plan benefits often include

  • Accident and Health Benefits 
  • Adoption Benefits
  • Dependent Care 
  • Group-term life insurance 
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • Flexible Spending Accounts: funded by salary reduction

IRS guidelines restrict certain spending account benefits to maximum annual amounts. Under normal circumstances, an employee must use FSA proceeds by the end of the employee’s contribution year. A provision of The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 extended use and rollover options to 2022. 

Ask your employees what they want

Employee benefits are critical to attracting and retaining quality employees. Benefits are even more critical now that employees have undergone a year of shifting needs. Communicating with current and future employees is the most efficient way to determine what benefits best meet their needs. 

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Let us help you reassess your employee benefits priorities. Call Health Consultants Group at (800) 367-2482. Or, visit our contact page

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