4 Tips for Planning Benefits for 2022


As the new year kicks off, Federal open enrollment is winding down, and most companies are deep into planning their larger employee benefits packages for 2022. If you’re involved in planning your company’s benefits for this year, it’s important to stay focused right to the end of the process.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with an avalanche of policy options, quotes from different providers, and statistics of all shapes and sizes. Run through the tips below to make sure you’ve assembled the ideal benefits package for your staff as 2022 kicks off.

1. Make Sure You Have Your Mandatory Benefits Covered

Before you consider any extra benefits, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the basic benefits covered. Also known as mandatory benefits, these are legally required elements. They include the following:

  • Social Security, which helps with retirement planning on a Federal level.
  • Workers Compensation, which helps protect employees injured while working their jobs.
  • Unemployment, which guards employees in the event of a qualified job loss.

There are two other health-related benefits that you should consider, although they are dependent on the size of your company. We’ll address them in a minute.

For now, no matter what the size of your business, make sure that you’ve addressed each of the three above benefits for your employees. If you haven’t, get in touch with your planning team (or, if you’re a small business owner, your accountant or lawyer) and figure out what you must include by law.

2. Show an Interest in the Long Term

Another key benefit planning element to keep in mind is having a long-term investment mindset. It’s no secret that employees move from job to job at a rapid pace these days. In fact, the average tenure at a position is well under five years at this point (especially for younger employees.)

This makes it imperative that employers demonstrate their investment in the long-term wellness of their employees. This isn’t just a medical concern. You should also express your commitment via financial preparation, too.

In other words, any competent benefits package that targets employee retention should include a retirement element. This sends the message that you want the best for your employees not just in the here and now, but far into their future, too.

Retirement planning used to be an expensive activity that only larger companies could afford. However, there are many small business 401k providers that specialize in making the activity accessible and easy for smaller companies, as well. This enables any size company to offer its employees the ability to invest in their future with the help of their employer.

3. Review Healthcare Requirements and Expectations

Healthcare is one of the first things that people think of when it comes to benefits packages — and no wonder, too. Healthcare is an expensive part of everyday life. When an employer is willing to share some of the burdens of that cost, it helps cultivate a sense of loyalty from their employees.

Of course, that doesn’t make choosing a healthcare option easy. Before you get into the nuances, though, consider the size of your company. If you had an average of 50 employees or more last year, you’re likely required to offer two things:

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is for employees who have qualifying medical needs and must miss work for a period of time.
  • Adequate health insurance options, which is basically a lower threshold for a healthcare plan that you must offer to your employees.

If you’re wondering what is considered “acceptable” coverage, it’s generally seen as 60% of the total medical service expenses for an employee. It also includes a solid network of providers to choose from.

While this is a good minimum threshold, though, it’s hardly ideal. If you want your benefits package to stand out and attract or retain quality talent, make sure to offer more than the basics.

4. Consider Other Perks

Once you’ve addressed staples, like mandatory benefits and healthcare and retirement options, consider what other perks you also want to include. 

The most obvious “trending” perk at the moment is the ability to work from home. Forbes also suggests other benefit options like:

  • Caregiving benefits, which help your employees cover the cost of getting quality care for their loved ones.
  • Mental health coverage, which can help employees maintain their mental health alongside their physical health.
  • Remote work reimbursement, which goes beyond remote work and actually enables your employees to work from home profitably.

These may seem like insignificant considerations. Nevertheless, the “bells and whistles” of your benefits package can often be the deciding factor for your employees. 

Everyone expects to get basic things like healthcare and unemployment benefits. However, the additional perks that they get can make or break their commitment to your company.

The cost of hiring employees has never been higher. The expense of recruiting new talent is in the average range of thousands of dollars per hire at this point.

This underscores the importance of a competent, thoughtful, and targeted benefits package. Don’t just cover the basics. Make sure that you’re genuinely tending to the needs of your employees through your benefits planning.

If you can do that, your company can reap the benefits of your benefits, from increased loyalty to better productivity, superior talent, and more, both in 2022 and beyond.

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