I logged into my employee benefits tool to check the balance of my health savings account (HSA) before paying a medical bill. Once the website loaded, a notification flashed at me stating that I had incentives that I had not yet claimed.
Investigating further, I had over $1,000 of incentives that I could earn and have deposited in my HSA simply by completing some education modules.
My employer offers several very nice programs in my benefits package. Many are well-known, but some of them are buried beneath the bureaucracy of a large company. Here’s a list of some of the lesser-known employer benefits I’ve recently discovered.
1. Matching 401K Funds
My employer contributes 1 percent of our annual salary to the 401K program, unconditionally. They also offer matching funds of 50 cents for every dollar of the first 6 percent of the employee’s annual salary.
Example: if I set my 401K contribution to 6 percent of my paycheck, I will get the 6 percent I contribute, plus the 3 percent matching funds, plus the 1 percent unconditional contribution for a total contribution of 10 percent of my annual salary.
That’s a good retirement bonus I don’t want to pass up. It’s kind of like getting free money!
2. Health Savings Account Incentive Funds
I get $500 seed money deposited into the HSA automatically. For this, we can earn up to $1,600 more by completing some education modules. All together, they might take a few hours, but it’s well worth it.
Check with your employer, or health insurance provider, and see what hidden incentives they offer.
3. Vision Discount Card
We have a variety of health insurance coverage options, including a vision plan. However, even if we choose to not pay for the vision plan, we can get a vision discount card free of charge which saves us up to 20 percent off of frames, lenses and contacts.
This comes in very handy as several of us in the family wear glasses. Do you get vision plan benefits or a discount card? Now’s the time to check.
4. Healthy Living Incentive
I could buy an expensive activity tracker, or I could forfeit one of my HSA incentives and get one for free. I can then log my activity and earn points that can be redeemed for products including Amazon gift cards.
We all strive to be healthy and eat right, so why not use the incentives that are available to us?
5. Financial Education
The online tools for my retirement benefits includes a large selection of financial planning education packages that teach employees how to manage their money in day-to-day life, as well to plan for the future. By spending a few hours time learning this information, I can get approved for a large amount of benefits.
6. Employee Discount Program
Employees of my company enjoy discounts at numerous local businesses as well as many national vacation destinations. Oil changes, restaurants, car washes as well as national water and theme parks all offer discounts through this program.
Some of these programs I have personal experience with, while others were shared to me from other employees. I even found out about a few of them because they were featured in our corporate newsletter.
It’s worth keeping your ears open for lesser-known benefits, or asking your human resource department for a full list of benefits that your company offers. You might just be surprised at what you find!
Do you know what your full list of employee benefits are? What’s another lesser-known benefit employees should know about?