Commonly Misunderstood Employee Benefits

Gary Rixson has accumulated over 19 years of experience in business development, human resources, and operations. In 2013, he joined Lockton Companies as a consultant. At Lockton, Gary Rixson concentrates on designing and delivering communication strategies that help employees understand their benefits.

Many employees read over their benefits package and believe a benefit means one thing when, in fact, it means another. For example, the terms “workers’ compensation” and “disability insurance” may seem similar. However, workers’ compensation only covers injuries one receives on the job. Disability insurance functions as a replacement for income during a time when the employee is unable to work. Bear in mind that most employee-provided disability policies only last for set periods of time.

Retirement plans also cause confusion. Before accepting a job, employees should ask employers about their retirement plans, and if their plans include a matching policy. Health insurance is another important topic. While many employers offer health insurance, some also provide health savings accounts (HSAs). HSAs come with perks such as cheaper high-deductible health plans, as well as the ability to add money to the account without incurring taxes.


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