Benefits are the buzzword for 2019. With a record-low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, companies are looking for ways to make job offers more attractive than with just a big salary and free lunches. That often means beefing up benefits packages to cover things like student loan debt, pet insurance, unlimited paid time off, fertility treatments and financial wellness programs. For many workers, a benefits package can help them achieve a higher, better quality of life. In fact, four out of five employees say they would rather have more (and better) benefits than a raise.
Among the most popular items on that benefits wish list is student loan repayment assistance. No surprise there, given that student loan debt is the primary source of financial stress among younger workers ages 22 to 33. However, paid family leave, remote work options and financial fitness counseling also rank high among the most in-demand perks. Here are 10 companies that offer some of the most comprehensive and innovative benefits around.
A winner on the list of Fortune’s 100 Best to Work For in 2019, this IT giant offers standard benefits like comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) with an employer match up to 4.5 percent of your salary and 20 days of PTO, in addition to flexible hours. The company also provides employees with plenty of other perks like an equity incentive plan; maternity leave of up to four weeks off, fully paid (and then another 11 extra weeks, unpaid, through the Family & Medical Leave Act); fertility assistance and treatment up to $15,000; an adoption subsidy of up to $3,000 per adoption; child care at the company’s major hubs; on-site gyms; tuition reimbursement of $7,500 per year for undergraduate studies and $10,000 per year for graduate, professional development, legal assistance and more.
The multinational wholesale club chain was named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work for in 2019—and for six years before that. Both full- and part-time employees who are eligible for benefits can participate in the company’s healthcare plan with automatic bi-weekly contributions. Healthcare benefits include medical, vision, prescription drug, mental health, life insurance, disability and more, and most of the cost is covered by the company. They also have a helpline for Costco employees to assist with finding childcare, seeking mental health counseling, etc. Other perks include a 401(k), performance bonuses, an employee stock purchase plan, maternity/paternity leave, dependent care, flexible hours, employee assistance program and tuition assistance.
The global accounting and consulting firm works with Gradifi to offer associates and senior associates $100 per month or $1,200 per year, up to $7,200, to help pay with student loan repayments. The company offers fully paid maternity and paternity leave of eight weeks, with the option to extend it by an additional two to six weeks, depending on the situation. New parents can transition back to their professional lives by working 60 percent of their regular office hours at full-time pay for four weeks once parental leave ends. PwC also offers emergency backup childcare reimbursement, paid family care leave, adoption and surrogacy assistance with reimbursement of expenses up to $25,000, and flexible work time.
For the past three years, the Atlanta-based airline has been named one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. In addition to comprehensive health, vision and dental coverage, the company also offers its employees automatic enrollment in a 401(k) plan and a 100 percent employer match up to 6 percent of your annual pay. There’s a profit-sharing plan that begins on the first day of employment, and a shared rewards program that features monthly employee payouts based on set goals achieved across the company. Delta also offers PTO, personal time, maternity leave, family medical leave and an adoption assistance program, which begins on your first day at work. And while employee discounts and gym memberships are nice perks, the free and reduced-rate travel benefits for employees and eligible family members are among the most popular.
A winner of Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work, the San Francisco-based technology company is famous for paying 100 percent of its employees’ medical, dental and vision and 50 percent of dependents’ coverage. Also among the highlights are 30 days of PTO; paid volunteer time away from the office; stock options as part of the total compensation package; and profit sharing. DocuSign also offers its employees performance bonuses, stock options and a 401(k) with matching contributions up to three percent at fifty cents on the dollar. For employees with families—or those aspiring to start one—DocuSign provides six months’ paid maternity and eight weeks’ paternity leave, child care options and fertility assistance.
For 10 years in a row, the tech colossus has been featured prominently on Glassdoor’s list of Best Places to Work. Maybe because the company provides its employees with a huge selection of benefits and perks, from free breakfast, lunch and dinner, on-site medical and wellness services, on-site gyms at some locations and backup childcare to a 401(k), the option to work from home, and personal and professional development. There’s a free concierge service that can handle errands like picking up dry cleaning or taking the car for servicing. Google also offers longer maternity and paternity leave than the average American company: dads get six weeks paid leave, and moms can take up to 18 weeks leave. But among the most generous and unique perks is the death benefit, where Google pays the spouse of a deceased employee 50 percent of that employee’s salary for 10 years.
With more than 340 stores and 100,000 employees across Texas and Mexico, the San Antonio-based supermarket chain has been described as one of the most popular cult grocers in the country. In addition to making Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2018 and 2019, the retailer was Supermarket News’ Retailer of the Year and named among the Best Workplaces for Women in 2017. Employees (known as partners) receive many benefits, including a 401(k) plan that offers a match of $1.60 for every dollar contributed up to 2.5 percent of your wages, comprehensive health coverage, life insurance, access to free mental healthcare and college tuition assistance. Even part-time employees get a piece of the benefits pie, but only when they’ve put in 1,500 hours in a calendar year. H.E.B. gets bonus points for its flexibility in work hours, which has proven especially popular with working students of all ages. That, a 10 percent discount off all H.E.B. brand products, and a turkey for every partner at Thanksgiving go a long way toward fostering employee loyalty and engagement.
Penguin Random House
In 2016, this publishing company became the first in its industry to offer student loan repayment assistance for any full-time employee who has been with the company for at least one year. With Gradifi’s Student Loan Pay Down, Penguin Random House contributes $1,200 per year, up to $9,000. And it’s not just millennials or Gen Z-ers straight off the graduation stage who are taking advantage, plenty of older employees are utilizing the benefit as some have gone back to school, while others are paying back educational loans taken out to send their children to college. Part-time employees also get full-time benefits, including comprehensive medical, dental and vision, a 401(k) with an employer match of up to 6%, maternity and paternity leave, employee discounts and wellness stipends, flexible work options and, of course, free books.
This cloud-based software company has no end in sight to its continuous record-breaking growth in revenue and appearances on Best Of lists, including Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019. Among the standard employee benefits are medical, dental and vision coverage, which are 100% covered if the care is in-network. As part of its “culture of equality,” Salesforce offers health benefits for transgender employees, which include coverage of pre-surgery and post-surgery counseling and medications as well as any medically necessary surgical procedures. They also have a sabbatical program, which offers employees one week of unpaid leave—or several weeks, if you bank it for later—for every full year of working at the company. Salesforce reimburses employees for 100 percent of the cost of tuition, fees and books, up to $5,250 per year, for approved, job-related courses. And when it comes to the 401(k), the company matches dollar for dollar in contributions, up to six percent of your salary or a maximum of $5,000 annually—with the option of a standard pre-tax plan or a post-tax Roth IRA.
Starbucks is a leader in education benefits with its notable Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which gives U.S. employees who are eligible for benefits full-tuition coverage for a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University (in person or online). All employees working at least 20 hours a week get benefits. Corporate employees enjoy a number of other perks, including discounted gym memberships, a job-sharing program, and on-site childcare. And in 2018, the company rolled out subsidized child care for all U.S. employees. In partnership with Care.com, Starbucks now has 10 subsidized backup daycare days available to parents when the regular babysitter falls through.
More than just a number
Most companies don’t offer all the benefits people are looking for, but that’s changing. More employers are starting to realize that compensation is more than just a dollar amount on a paycheck. So, rather than watch their employees exit for greener, more benefit-rich pastures, a growing number are broadening and boosting their benefits packages. That’s bound to be good for everyone.