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The top five types of employee benefits

Health Benefits • February 14, 2020 at 2:51 PM • Written by: PeopleKeep Team

Many employers want to offer great benefits to their employees, but which ones do employees love most?

Here is a list of the top benefits employers can offer to employees. Each can be a valuable tool for recruiting and retaining employees.

1. Health benefits

When it comes down to it, the quality of health benefits is directly correlated with employee satisfaction in the workplace. In fact, a survey conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) shows that 56% of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits say their health benefits are a key factor in deciding to stay at or leave their current job.

So, what types of health benefits can businesses offer?

Group health insurance

This is the traditional way employers offer health insurance. The company selects and purchases a group health insurance plan or plans. Employees can then choose if they would like to become part of their employer's group health insurance plan. Group health insurance works best for applicable large employers (ALEs) who have a large enough group of participants to lower the cost of coverage.

Healthcare reimbursement arrangement (HRA)

The next method employers can offer health benefits is through a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). With it, employers are able to reimburse employees when they pay for medical premiums or pay out-of-pocket for eligible health expenses.

An HRA is a powerful tool for business owners and employees for several reasons:

  1. Businesses that cannot afford traditional group health insurance can leverage an HRA as a health benefit that attracts and retains employees.
  2. When offered alone, an HRA enable employees to choose an individual health insurance plan that fits their personal needs. In this example, employees don't have to settle for a traditional group health plan with coverage gaps.
  3. Businesses can also use a group coverage HRA (GCHRA) alongside traditional group health insurance to help with out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles.
  4. In all cases, businesses can set an allowance cap for employees and rest assured the cap will never be exceeded. 

    Note: PeopleKeep's software facilitates three different types of HRAs: the qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA), the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA), and the GCHRA. Specific rules, such as allowance caps and discrimination rules, apply to each one.

2) Retirement benefits

Retirement benefits are a classically popular type of employee benefit. Retirement benefits provide employees with a safety net and a retirement solution that allows them to enjoy their lives after ending their careers. Most importantly, retirement benefits allow individuals to live sustained and comfortable lives.

Though programs such as Social Security exist as a part of an employee’s retirement, most employees greatly value additional retirement programs that help them begin to save for their life after retiring from a job. Many employees often forget to begin saving for retirement, but when their employer offers retirement plans and savings options, it enables employees to begin this important step.

A qualified retirement plan offers several tax benefits and allows employers to deduct annual allowable contributions for their participants. The contributions and earnings on these contributions are tax-deferred until withdrawn. They can even be deferred further through a transfer into a different type of IRA as well.

3) Flexible work schedules and PTO

Taking time off without pay can be financially straining if an unforeseen event should arise. Stress over money takes both a mental and physical toll on workers, increasing health-related costs and significantly decreasing productivity.

As such, employees hold flexible pay and schedules in high regard, listing them as one of the top reasons to stay with a company. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for an employee to fall ill themselves. When this happens, knowing that a company will allow time off to recover is comforting and reassuring.

You can also offer paid time off (PTO) to your employees to help them take a break and recharge from work. This allows them to come back feeling more motivated and productive.

Finally, you can also allow your employees to work remotely or follow a flexible schedule.

4) Wellness program

One of the biggest employee benefit trends is building a company culture of health as a way to create and maintain a healthy and productive workforce. As such, many companies put wellness programs in place to keep their employees active, happy, healthy, and productive.

Some of these programs include:

  1. Company gym or memberships
  2. Health and wellness-related newsletters
  3. Wellness challenges
  4. Exercise classes
  5. Smoking cessation
  6. Stress management

Overall, these programs are beneficial to companies simply because employee happiness, health, and productivity are generally higher when in place. In addition, wellness programs can save a company money. In fact, some studies show that health promotion programs can yield a three to six-dollar return on investment for every dollar spent over a two to five-year period.

You can offer a custom wellness program through wellness employee stipends.

5) Tuition reimbursement and professional development opportunities

Lastly, employees who embody a balance of work experience and education can achieve greater financial success than their peers. A LendEDU survey shows that employees with a college degree make around $48,400 a year. And another survey shows that those without one make about $30,500 a year.

Knowing this, employees greatly value when their employer is willing to pay for furthering their education. Many times, employees are promoted within their company soon after degree completion as well. Moreover, tuition reimbursement is one of the types of employee benefits that has a lasting effect on the employee and the company - producing educated employees that have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle their daily tasks effectively.

You can offer a professional development or education stipend to reimburse your employees for their education-related expenses. 


Offering employee benefits is an excellent way to attract and retain top talent. By offering a variety of benefits, you'll create a more motivated workforce and a positive company culture.

If you're ready to offer personalized benefits to your employees, PeopleKeep can help. Our HRA and employee stipend administration platform makes it easy to set up and manage your benefits in minutes.

Schedule a call with a personalized benefits advisor to get started.

This blog article was originally published on February 14, 2020. 

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PeopleKeep Team