Ways to Maximize Your Employee Benefits in the New Year

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Employee benefits are one of the great advantages to being employed whether you are single, married, have a family, or have other family members living with you. However, the vast list of employee benefits are only benefits if you use them.  Start 2018 with an understanding of all your benefits and a plan, listed on your calendar, how to use them in the New Year.

 

Planning Attributes for Employee Benefits – The Keys.

  1. Register Family Members with Your Employer. Many employers need all family members registered with both their Human Resources (HR) systems and with the company administering the benefits. Each year, ensure your company has the family members names, ages, addresses, and any other specific information listed so all family members can easily access the benefits they are entitled.

  2. List Your Benefits by Category with the Specifics. Listing out all your benefits from healthcare to educational assistance to commuter benefits is the next step to ensure you maximize your entitlements. For each of these, list out the benefit, the item that can be used, and any other pertinent details. This list will then become the checklist for you to use throughout the year so you can ensure that you maximize your earned benefits.

  3. Understand How to Use Your Benefits. Healthcare plans, dental plans, and vision care can easily be some of the more complicated entitlements. Spend time to ensure your families primary care and specialty care physicians and clinics are still on your primary providers list. In addition, can you pay all or some of your gym memberships or even childcare providers with benefits? Is your cell phone plan covered?

  4. Plan Your Entitlement Use – Schedule It Today. Having great employer entitlements is great – but only if you use them! Scheduling specific appointments for flu shots, annual physicals, back to school physicals, are all great ways to get both a jump on your annual benefit use and ensure that you maximize both your benefits and your scheduling. Also, you maximize your savings from gym memberships, day care, etc. when you use the benefits earlier in the year. So, do it today!

  5. Honesty – Use Only the Benefits You Are Entitled. There are a lot of benefits that would be great to have but you may not meet the specific conditions of use. In this case, honesty towards your employer is the best policy. If you do not qualify for the entitlement, then do not use it. Period and end of story. Misuse of entitlements could be grounds for termination from your employer and might be considered criminal. Ensure that you use only the benefits that you are entitled and ensure you ask many questions of your company’s Human Resource (HR) department to maximize your benefit use.

  6. Educational Reimbursement. Education reimbursement is an incredible benefit to work towards a degree or specialized training that supports your career. In most cases, the employee must have prior management approval of the degree program and education program to use the benefit. Ensure that you have prior approval, submit reimbursement requests on time with full documentation, and make academic progress towards your education goal. If you do not make academic progress or exit the course early, you may have to repay the benefit.

  7. Volunteer & Donation Matching. A great benefit that more and more companies are doing are matching employee donation hours with financial donations to the not-for-profit of your choice or matching your own monetary donations to a certain amount. Like the education benefit, this has some specific registration requirements, so make sure that you record, report, and follow up on your volunteer hours and financial donations so you can get your company match.

  8. Vacation and Flex Time. The almost number one under utilized employee benefit is vacation time (paid time off) and flexible work arrangements. Like your other entitlements, you have to schedule and pre-arrange this incredible benefit so you do not lose the benefit. Work early on in the year with your team, peers, and boss to understand when you can and cannot take vacation. In addition, your spouse’s schedule as well as school calendars are another great way to ensure vacation time is maximized.

Employee entitlements are a great benefit for you and your family, but only of you use them. Start 2018 off right and create a robust plan to schedule and use all your benefits this year.

 

Share your story how you maximized your job benefits for your success!

 

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Author Biography: Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 250 articles in over 150 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics.  Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better.  Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at Creighton University.  Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.  Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and www.CombatToCorporate.com