Your End-of-Year Benefits Checklist

Another year has come to an end. As the calendar turns over, it becomes particularly important to remind workers of some important benefits, if you haven’t already. We’re making a list and checking it twice on reminders for workers and employers regarding paid time off, holiday and health care benefits. In addition, considerations for miscellaneous benefits with year-end implications are outlined. Throughout this blog, we will use statistics from the 2020 Employee Benefits Survey to remind you of the prevalence of these offerings.

Vacation/Paid Time Off (PTO)

The end of the year is a good opportunity for employers to review their vacation/paid time offerings. In addition, workers should review their current balances and carryover limits.

  • More than three in five (64%) organizations that offer vacation or paid time off allow some days to be carried over. These limits are most often 5 (34%) or 10 days (12%).

Holidays

It’s also a good time to review and communicate your end-of-year paid holiday offerings.

  • Responding organizations commonly offer Christmas Eve (55%), and Christmas Day (95%) as paid holidays.
  • About one in three (32%) offer New Year’s Eve Day as a paid holiday.
  • Less commonly, responding organizations offer the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s off (8%).
  • In addition to these standard holiday offerings, more than half (52%) offer floating holidays; most often one (19%) or two (16%) days. This may represent a good opportunity to remind your workers of their floating holiday balances before they expire.

Health Care Offerings

The end of the year also represents a great opportunity to review your health plan offerings, and ensure that your workers understand how to use and how they can benefits from these offerings.

  • About four in five (79%) responding organizations offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs). These plans reimburse employees for expenses incurred for specific tax-qualified purchases. With the exception of $500 that can be rolled over to the next year, contributions not spent by the end of the year are forfeited. This is different from health savings accounts (HSAs), offered by 64% of responding organizations, in which there are not carryover limits.
We broke down the difference between HSAs and FSAs in a past podcast episode. Here’s the handy guide we used!

Miscellaneous

Below are a few miscellaneous year-end offerings that your organization may consider offering if it’s not happening already.

  • As the winter weather rolls in, employer-sponsored flu shot programs (70%) become more important. Clearly communicating these programs can save workers time, and save your organization vital health care expenses.
  • Holiday gifts, offered by one in three responding organizations (33%), are a great way to let your workers know that they are valued.
  • Similarly, matching charitable gift programs (offered by 23% of responding organizations) are an excellent way to support worthy nonprofit organizations, while encouraging your workers in their year-end philanthropy efforts.
  • Employer-sponsored on-site postal services (12%) can be a time-saver for busy workers sending out their annual holiday cards.
  • As 2021 rolls to a close, workers begin to compile materials for their annual tax filings.  About 2% of responding organizations offer tax return preparation for their workers.

What other offerings are you reviewing and communicating to your workers as the year comes to a close?

Justin Held, CEBS
Senior Research Analyst at the International Foundation 

Check out the latest from Word on Benefits: