Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Guide to Civilian Benefits: An Important Part of any Job Offer

Transitioning from the military to a civilian employer involves changes in almost every aspect of your career. This is particularly true when it comes to the benefits package you can expect to receive. In addition to salary, a company’s benefit package is a key component to an overall job package, and the more information you have when considering an offer, the better decision you can make.

Below is an overview on typical benefits packages in the types of companies in which we usually place our candidates. This information is not all-inclusive, but it is intended to highlight the most common benefit options provided by employers today.

Vacation, Holidays and Time Off

On average, you can expect to accrue vacation and sick days on a per month basis, with most companies offering 7-14 days vacation a year.

In addition to vacation days, most companies also observe certain standard national holidays throughout the year, to include the following:
  • New Years Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
Health Insurance Plans

Health Insurance is a very important component of a company’s benefit package. There are a number of different types of health insurance plans available in Corporate America, and it can be somewhat confusing for transitioning military officers accustomed to the military’s TRICARE system.

When you are evaluating a company’s health insurance plan, there are three critical components that you should understand: the type of plan (PPO or HMO), premiums, and co-pays. The overall cost of different healthcare plans can vary widely, and the plan that is best for you will depend on your individual situation and a careful cost/benefit analysis.
In addition to Health Insurance, your employer will probably offer an additional plan for Dental and/or Vision coverage that you may elect to purchase for yourself and/or your dependents. Most companies offer two types of relatively inexpensive disability insurance, Short Term Disability Insurance and Long Term Disability Insurance, as well.

Other Civilian Benefits – Retirement, Relocation, Bonuses and More

401(k) Plans
A 401(k) is the most common type of retirement savings program offered by companies, and has all but replaced the traditional pension plan. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows a worker to save for retirement while deferring income tax on the saved money and earnings until withdrawal. The employee elects to have a portion of his or her wages paid directly, or "deferred", into his or her 401(k) account. There are maximum contribution limits. For 2014, the maximum contribution to a 401(k) is limited to $17,500 for individuals under the age of 50. Some companies will match a percentage of your contributions to your 401(k) program.

Relocation Assistance
Companies typically offer relocation assistance on a case-by-case basis. If a company offers a relocation package, it will come in the form of either a relocation bonus or they will take care of moving your household goods, similar to a military PCS move. If you receive a relocation bonus, the amount will vary depending on the company, the position you are hired for, and the physical distance involved in the move. Relocation assistance can significantly add to the overall value of an offer.

Bonuses can significantly increase the value of your overall compensation package. You may a signing or performance bonus depending on how your individual compensation package is structured. Bonuses are typically taxed at a higher rate than your normal wages.

Tuition Reimbursement
Some companies may offer tuition reimbursement for college or graduate school classes. Typically, there is a limited amount of assistance available. Additionally, most companies require that classes taken apply directly to your position or the industry in general.

Company Car or Car Allowance
Most sales positions that involve a significant amount of driving (such as pharmaceutical and medical device companies) provide either a company car or a monthly car allowance as part of your overall compensation package. A company car or allowance can add seven to ten thousand dollars to the overall value of your offer.

Employee Stock Plans
There are three primary stock option plans that companies may offer as part of an overall compensation package: Employee Stock Option Plans, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), and Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs). Each is different and offers unique advantages. All three can add significantly to the overall value of an offer.

For more information on these benefits, click here or speak with your Orion recruiter.

1 comment:

  1. Compared to military benefits we can say that there's a lot of benefit in military than an employee of a company. But there are also a benefit to a employee that doesn't have the military such as a time to spent more on their family.