The 6 Most Common Benefits Mistakes Long-Term Employees Make

If you’ve been with a company for a long time, it’s easy to get comfortable with your position there. This goes for your employee benefits, as well: You might fall into a routine and not realize the many options your employer offers that fit you better than your current coverage. Don’t miss out by making these benefits mistakes. 1. Ignoring Communications HR sends out all sorts of announcements about employee benefits — are you listening? If you’re not paying attention to employee communications, you could miss enrollment deadlines or valuable new benefits that you didn’t know you had. Chris Lokken, an employee benefits consultant with Johnson Insurance, says he often asks employees how many took advantage of the regular free eye exam their health insurance often covers. “Usually I get 3 or 4 hands to go up, and 5 or 10 people see me after the meeting and ask me …

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Make the Most of Your Pretax Deductions

Don’t set it and forget it when it comes to pretax contributions. The money that comes out of your paycheck before taxes can work for you, but only if you manage it properly. Many employees mismanage or underutilize the pretax deduction programs that employers offer, says Joe Holberg, founder and CEO of Holberg Financial, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about your options. “The first major step is to know what is available to you. This is when you read the nitty-gritty paperwork, reach out to the HR person and figure out what portions of the pretax opportunities make sense for you.” Follow this checklist to get the most out of your pretax deductions. HSAs You can get a health savings account only if you have a high-deductible health plan — but once you open the account, it sticks with you even if you change jobs. …

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Do Your Policies Make It Too Hard for Employees to Use Their Benefits?

Do Your Policies Make It Too Hard for Employees to Use Their Benefits?

The employee benefits your company provides aren’t worth much if your employees can’t figure out how to use them or find the process you’ve established too onerous to bother with. Employees who don’t understand their benefits will express less satisfaction with them, and policies that make employees jump through a bunch of hoops to use those benefits will often discourage them from trying. Problematic policies may include requiring a doctor’s note to take a sick day, not communicating clearly about benefit enrollment deadlines, or requiring real-time monitoring or reporting requirements for employees to take advantage of flexible work arrangements. Here’s what you need to do to make it easier for employees to access their benefits. Shift Your Mindset Keep in mind that the benefits you offer are meant to attract and retain the top talent you need to build your business. Federal law doesn’t mandate paid time off for vacations, …

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