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Identifying the “Perks” on National Employee Benefits Day

National Employee Benefits Day

As the economy continues to improve, it can become more challenging to attract quality talent.  The role of the benefits packages and “perks” can often tip the scales for one prospective employer over another. In honor of National Employee Benefits Day – April 2, here are some of the often overlooked benefit options that employers can use to “sweeten the pot” to attract new talent and also retain existing talent. These eight benefits provide an opportunity for over $30,000 of increased value to employees each year.*

Achievement awards
Tax Treatment: Tax exempt for employees and employers
Value: Up to $1,600 for qualified plan awards and $400 for non qualified awards

Adoption assistance
Tax Treatment: Not included in income tax withholding, subject to social security and Medicare for employees and employer payroll taxes
Value:  Up to $13,400 for 2015

Athletic facilities
Tax Treatment: Exempt if facility and benefit is almost solely used by employees, their spouses and their dependent children
Value: Encourages wellness and can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity (Assumed value of $50 – $150 per month for comparable services or membership fees)

Dependent care assistance
Tax Treatment:  Tax exempt up to limits for employees and employers
Value: Up to $5,000 annually ($2,500 if married filing jointly)

Educational assistance / tuition reduction
Tax Treatment: Tax exempt to limits
Value: Up to $5,250 of benefits each year

Group-term life insurance coverage
Tax Treatment: Tax exempt for employees and employers
Value: Up to cost of $50,000 of coverage

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Tax Treatment: Tax exempt for qualified individuals up to HSA Contribution Limits
Value: For 2015, HSA contributions limited to $3,350 for individual coverage and $6,650 for family coverage, with an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 for those 55 or older

Transportation (Commuting) benefits
Tax Treatment: Tax exempt for employees and employers
Value: For 2015, up to $130/month for qualified transit and up to $250/month for qualified parking


* For specific details, limits and conditions that may exist for offering and receiving these benefits, please refer to IRS Publication 15-B: Employer Fringe Benefits Guide. All information is intended to provide representative values of benefits and may not reflect the specific values or conditions available through each employer.