At the end of 2019, unemployment was near a 50-year low, and companies were looking for ways to make job offers more attractive. The job market may have shifted dramatically since then, but employers still have to think of their employees, and that can mean 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—not surprising, given that student loan debt is the primary source of financial stress among workers ages 22–33. However, paid family leave, remote work options and “financial fitness” counseling perks also rank high in demand.

While there are many companies with great benefits, we’ve rounded up 10 that we believe offer some of the most innovative benefits around. Below are our picks for companies with the more creative benefits today.

Cisco Systems

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 of up to 4.5% of salary, and 20 days of PTO in addition to flexible hours. The company also provides employees with plenty of other perks, including an equity incentive plan; 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer, generous paid maternity leave as well as 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.

Costco Wholesale

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 Costco employees who are eligible for benefits can participate in the company’s health care plan with automatic bi-weekly contributions. Health care benefits include medical, vision, prescription drug, mental health, life insurance, disability, and more—and most of the cost is covered by the company. The company also has a helpline to assist employees with finding childcare, seeking mental health counseling, and more. Other perks include a 401(k), performance bonuses, an employee stock purchase plan, maternity/paternity leave, dependent care, flexible hours, an employee assistance program, and tuition assistance.

PwC

The global accounting and consulting firm works with Gradifi to offer associates and senior associates $100 per month/$1,200 per year to help with student loan repayments (up to $7,200 total). The company also offers eight weeks of fully paid maternity and paternity leave, with an option to extend for an additional two to six weeks, depending on the situation. New parents can transition back to their professional lives by working 60% 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.

Delta Air Lines

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% employer match up to 6% of annual pay. There’s also 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 the 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.

DocuSign

A winner of Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work, the San Francisco-based technology company is famous for paying 100% of its employees’ medical, dental, and vision, and 50% 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 3% at 50 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, childcare options and fertility assistance.

Google

For 10 years in a row, the tech colossus has been featured prominently on Glassdoor’s list of Best Places to Work, perhaps in part because the company provides its employees with a huge selection of benefits and perks—like free breakfast, lunch, and dinner; on-site medical and wellness services; on-site gyms at some locations; backup childcare; a 401(k); the option to work from home; and personal and professional development. There’s even a free concierge service that can handle personal errands, from picking up dry cleaning to 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. But among the most generous and unique perk is the death benefit, where Google pays the spouse of a deceased employee 50% of that employee’s salary for 10 years.

H.E.B. Grocery

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 2019 and 2020, the retailer was Supermarket News’ Retailer of the Year and named among the Best Workplaces for Women in 2017.

Employees—known as partners—receive a 401(k) plan that matches $1.60 for every dollar contributed for up to 2.5% of wages, comprehensive health coverage, life insurance, access to free mental health care, and college tuition assistance. Even part-time employees get a piece of the benefits pie after they’ve put in 1,500 hours in a calendar year.

And 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% 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 up to $1,200 per year per employee, up to a total of $9,000. And it’s not just Millennials or Gen Z-ers straight off the graduation stage who are taking advantage—employees of all ages are utilizing the benefit, as some have gone back to school while others have taken out educational loans 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.

Salesforce

This cloud-based software company has broken records in revenue growth and appearances on best-of lists, including Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019. Among its standard employee benefits is 100% coverage for in-network medical, dental, and vision care. As part of its “culture of equality,” Salesforce offers tailored 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 for every full year of working at the company, which can be rolled over for use later. Salesforce reimburses employees for 100% of the cost of tuition, fees, and books for approved, job-related courses (up to $5,250 per year). And when it comes to the 401(k), the company matches dollar for dollar in contributions for up to 6% of salary or a maximum of $5,000 annually—with the option of a standard pre-tax plan or a post-tax Roth IRA.

eBay

eBay’s mission is to form communities where people can expand their businesses, ideas, and experiences. With over 30,000 employees worldwide, they offer unique benefits such as medical, dental, and vision care from their date of hire; 16 PTO days per year, with an additional day added for each year of service up to 20 per year; 10 holidays per year with a floating holiday of choice; and, after five years of service, employees are eligible for a fully paid-for four-week sabbatical. In addition, eBay offers a comprehensive 401(k) plan with a $2,000 per year match as well as an employee stock purchase plan with E*TRADE. eBay also reimburses employees for up to $5,250 in tuition expenses for furthering their education. Overall, the package provides a unique environment for employees to grow and learn through their benefits.

Starbucks

Starbucks is a leader in education benefits with its notable Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which gives eligible US employees 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 qualify for benefits.

Corporate employees enjoy a number of additional perks, including discounted gym memberships, a job-sharing program, and on-site childcare. And, in 2018, the company rolled out subsidized childcare for all US employees. In partnership with Care.com, Starbucks now has 10 subsidized backup daycare days available to parents when the regular babysitter falls through.

While most companies don’t offer all the benefits people are looking for, more employers are realizing that compensation is more than just a dollar amount on a paycheck. Rather than watch their employees exit for greener pastures, a growing number are broadening and boosting their benefits packages. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a new employment opportunity, this list is just a starting point for the great benefits you can find.

 

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E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. recently acquired Gradifi, Inc. Gradifi offers financial wellness benefits focused on solutions for employers to provide their employees student loan and college savings benefits.

Statements regarding company benefits programs are true to the best of Gradifi’s knowledge at the time of publishing. Information subject to change at any time.

Some companies described may be clients of Gradifi, Inc.

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