Have you been wondering how you can afford to offer benefits? And how you would manage them? Well, these are all questions I just answered for myself recently – and the answers may surprise you.
First, let’s start with the easy ones: paid time off, telecommuting, sick leave, etc. These are the easiest benefits to offer and really go a long way, especially when it comes to keeping your employees happy.
If you don’t offer paid vacation, holidays, and sick time, you should really reconsider. These days it’s pretty much the first make or break thing when trying to recruit top talent for your organization. Beyond that, it’s one of the easiest benefits you can offer your employees. Think about it – payroll is a fixed cost every month so it doesn’t cost you any more money to allow your employees these paid days off.
Now let’s tackle health insurance. This has actually become much simpler for a small business to offer with the healthcare.gov marketplace. You also might end up receiving a tax credit for your business if you qualify. The program is called the SHOP Marketplace. (SHOP stands for Small Business Health Options Program) You can start this program any time of the year, not just the normal open enrollment period. You also choose the plans you want to offer and how much you will cover. So, if you only want to offer the bronze (also known as catastrophic plans) you can. Only want to pay 30% of the premium? You can do that as well. With this service through healthcare.gov, offering health insurance as a small business is easier than ever.
Lastly, let’s discuss how offering a retirement plan is possible as a small business. Even this benefit has become easier for small businesses to include in the benefit plans. Again, the simplest way is through a government program called myRA. This is a starter savings account developed by the government to get people saving. It does have its drawbacks and limitations, but it is free for employers.
A 401(k) is a little bit harder to offer than the myRA, but is just as plausible. The last few years have seen the rise of what’s called RoboAdvisors. These are services that automate the investing and therefore cost significantly less than traditional investment firms. Just make sure if you offer a 401(k), the provider is a 3(16) and 3(26) fiduciary. If you have these fiduciary services in place, it will make the plan super simple for you to manage with minimal risk on your part. For this, I recommend For Us All. This company helped us set up our 401(k) and they were super easy to work with.
Hopefully, with these insights, you will be able to offer more benefits to your employees – helping you retain great employees and recruit top talent!