42% of Employers Are Increasing Benefits This Year. Here Are 4 to Look Out For

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  • A recent survey reveals that many companies plan to increase their benefits to attract and retain talent.
  • If you're searching for a new job, assess the value of the benefits you're offered, like insurance and retirement plans, in addition to salary.

It's not just salary that counts. The right set of workplace benefits is important to go after.

These days, a lot of people are quitting their jobs in an effort to find better ones. If you're one of them, you may have a certain salary in mind -- one that allows you to pay your bills with ease and still have money left over for your savings.

But when contemplating a job offer, it's important to look at your total compensation package -- and that includes the benefits an employer is offering. In a recent Monster.com survey, 42% of companies said they're increasing employee benefits this year -- no doubt in an effort to keep current workers on board while attracting new ones. If you're seeking out or evaluating a job offer, here are some benefits that could be of great value to you.

1. Paid time off

Some workplaces don't offer much in the way of paid time off. And that could put you in a tough spot, especially at a time when COVID-19 is still very much circulating, and exposure to the virus could result in having to miss work. An employer that offers a generous amount of paid time off may be worth working for -- especially those that distinguish between vacation and sick time to ensure you get both.

2. Subsidized or free health insurance

The cost of health insurance can be a strain on your budget, even if your employer helps pick up that tab. But if a given company is willing to generously subsidize that cost, or, better yet, cover it entirely, that's a benefit you shouldn't overlook.

3. Matching dollars for your retirement plan

Many companies offer 401(k) plans that help workers save for retirement. Contributing to one of these plans is generally optional. But many employers that offer these plans also have matching programs -- that means if you put in a certain amount of your own money, your employer will kick in a matching contribution. If you have a job offer whose benefits package includes a substantial 401(k) match, that's effectively a free pile of money you could be getting your hands on.

4. Gym or fitness equipment subsidies

Some workplaces want to do their part to promote healthy lifestyles among employees, so they're willing to pay for gym or fitness equipment subsidies. Granted, a lot of people are skipping the gym these days during the COVID-19 pandemic. But you may find an offer that comes with a $300 annual subsidy you can use to buy a new bike, weight bench, or treadmill, for example.

Workplace benefits can have a lot of value -- both financial and otherwise. If you're thinking of getting a new job, don't underestimate the importance of a strong benefits package. And just as importantly, don't fixate solely on salary when seeking out offers, because in some cases, a robust set of benefits could be worth more than a boost to your paycheck.

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