Discretionary Benefits

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Employee benefits play a crucial role in the lives of employees as well as their families; therefore, benefits offered by employers can often times be the deciding factor for potential employee’s decision to work. Most organizations offer a variety of benefits ranging from those mandates by law, such as Social Security, to those that are just optional, such as health insurance. This essay will discuss the mandated types of benefit, specifically focusing on how the benefits are paid for and how they are administered. Furthermore, the essay will discuss discretionary benefits provided by private and public organizations. Lastly, this essay will highlight the differences in the scope of discretionary benefits provided by organizations presently…show more content…
In fact, the most received type of leave is in the form of a workweek unpaid leave, which could equal to a total of 12 workweeks. To receive this benefit, employees are to be giving birth to a child or caring for a newborn, caring for a newly placed child (adoption), caring for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition, or unable to work themselves due to a serious medical condition. The stipulation pertaining to “serious health condition” includes an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition involving various types of medical incapacity. While this is type of leave is generally unpaid, employers may allow or require employees to use accrued paid leave to cover some or all of the FMLA leave taken. When paying for health insurance, typically employers and employees both pay into the coverage. Employees are required to pay a deductible, depending upon which insurance plan they opt-in to. Employers are required to provide minimum value of at least 60% of the total cost of benefits incurred under the plan. However, according to the 2015 Kaiser survey, employers paid 83% of the premium for coverage for a single employee and 72% for coverage for a…show more content…
While these benefits are required, there are some discretionary benefits that employers are free to add to the list of benefits offered. The major types of discretionary benefits include pensions, deferred compensation programs, health insurance, retiree health insurance, prescription drug coverage, mental health benefits, vision insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance, paid leave (maternity, sick, annual, holiday, and family), sick days, paid lunch breaks, and compensatory time off. These benefits are generally the more traditional discretionary benefits used in combination with mandated benefits previously mentioned. These benefits are typically used to attract quality applicants, encourage loyalty and long-term employment, and motivate and reward incumbent employees. Aside from these more traditional discretionary benefits, since the beginning of the 20th century to present day, public and private organizations are introducing new types of discretionary benefits that focus on a more employee centered
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