Do Employee Benefits Make Up for Lack of Salary?

When professionals look at compensation, they typically focus on salary. However, the benefits package also has value; it just may be harder to quantify.

In some cases, employee benefits can make up for a lower salary, potentially significantly. That’s why it’s critical to look at the whole picture, particularly when you’re comparing two or more jobs to each other.

Fortunately, factoring in benefits isn’t as challenging as it may seem. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s how to determine if employee benefits make up for a lower salary.

Evaluate Your Personal Needs

First, you need to evaluate your personal needs to determine if employee benefits make up for the lack of salary. Review the benefits package to determine which forms of compensation you’ll use immediately, as well as what you’ll tap in the future.

Typically, health insurance and retirement are used universally. The same goes for paid time off in its classic forms, such as vacation and sick leave.

Beyond that, what you might use varies. For instance, maternity leave isn’t valuable to everyone, regardless of how generous the company makes it. The same goes for tuition assistance and reimbursement or student loan repayment, free public transit packages, childcare stipends, and more.

While you want to factor in the value of benefits, make sure you only consider those that are usable now or that you’ll definitely tap in the future. That way, you don’t include the value of perks you’ll never use.

Review the Benefits Carefully

Even if two companies offer similar benefits, that doesn’t mean they have the same value. For instance, one company may cover more of your healthcare premiums or may have plans with lower out-of-pocket expenses. Similarly, one business may have a higher 401(k) match, better leave options, and more.

Essentially, don’t assume that all benefits within a category are created equal because that typically isn’t the case. Instead, you need to estimate how much value each option provides.

Additionally, determine if one employer is offering a high-value benefit that you aren’t finding with another company. For example, student loan assistance is rare, but it’s a big difference maker to anyone battling that kind of debt.

Look Beyond Financial Value

In some cases, benefits packages provide more than financial value; they give you peace of mind. For example, free public transit could eliminate concerns about getting to work or the impact of shifting gas prices. Tuition reimbursement makes heading back to school less intimidating. Higher 401(k) matches might make you more confident in your future.

Along with the financial value, consider how the various benefits impact your well-being. You may find that getting more support in those areas alleviates enough stress to make a lower salary a non-issue. That’s worth factoring into the equation.

In the end, only you can decide if the benefits make up for a lower salary. Since that decision is personal, it’s wise to look at each factor and determine what’s really best for you. That way, you can get the best overall deal, which is what matters.

Contact Our Team Today

If you’d like to learn more about the value of employer-provided benefits, the team at Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.