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We've already touched briefly on some legally required employee benefits:

  • Social Security
  • Workers' compensation
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Temporary disability benefits

Most firms recognize that employees expect basic benefits in addition to those listed above. As an employer, you compete for the most qualified individuals in the local labor pool. Unless you offer at least minimal benefits, attracting and keeping qualified employees may be very difficult.

You may want to consider offering one or more of the following benefits:

  • Pensions
  • Group health protection, either as a traditional group plan or in the health maintenance organization format. Health benefits may include life insurance; medical, dental and vision care; prescription drugs and major medical expenses.
  • Other group insurance benefits (life, travel, accidental death and dismemberment, personal, auto and homeowners')

Some plans offer medical self-care and health-promotion programs to encourage employees in healthy lifestyles. Because increased awareness of general health care and preventive medicine fosters greater productivity, reduces absenteeism and increases morale, an employer's insurance costs can be significantly reduced.

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This article is reprinted by permission of the SBA and The Travelers, Hartford, Connecticut.
For more information on SBA programs go to www.sba.gov


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