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Benefits for Your Workers

Meeting the payroll, week to week, is the best some businesses can hope for. This is especially true for startups. However, if you find your business in a more secure position, you may want to offer some benefits to your employees (and to yourself). In fact, one of the many reasons that small business ownership is so attractive is the opportunity to obtain tax-deductible benefits for the owner and his or her family.

  • Benefits basics: if you are new to the benefits arena, your first stop should be learning a little bit about the general rules about benefits.
  • Time-off benefits: there are certain time-off benefits that you may be required to offer, such as time off to vote, jury duty leave, and military leave. There are also other types of time off that you may choose to offer that are not required by law, such as vacation, sick leave, and personal time off.
  • Workers' compensation: every state has enacted workers' compensation laws to protect employees against loss of income and for medical payments due to a work-related injury, accident, illness, or disease.
  • Health insurance: health insurance is a valuable benefit, but it can be expensive for small groups. We'll show you how to find vendors, how to negotiate contracts, and how to handle day-to-day administrative issues. We'll also describe the basic health plan options available to you and new federal rules that may impact your decision to offer health benefits.
  • Flexible spending accounts: a relatively low-cost way to help employees pay for their own health expenses, as well as childcare expenses, is to set up an FSA plan that permits employees to contribute pre-tax pay to accounts that are later used to reimburse eligible expenses.
  • Disability insurance: disability insurance can also be a valuable benefit. We'll show you the difference between short-term policies and long-term policies, and we'll explain how federal and state programs interact with these plans.
  • Life insurance: life insurance is a great benefit to provide because it offers employees with a family some security at a fairly low cost. Check here for information on the different types of life insurance you can purchase and how to handle day-to-day administration.
  • Retirement plans: retirement benefits are a valuable benefit to offer to your employees and to yourself. They can be costly and time-consuming to administer, but there are a wealth of options to choose from that can be financially advantageous for you, your business, and your employees.
  • Miscellaneous fringe benefits: this category includes all the other types of fringe benefits you may choose to provide to your employees. In some cases, you can deduct the cost of providing the benefits, but your employees will not have to pay tax on them!
  • Benefits administration: we include an overview of some legal and technical aspects you need to know about.

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