If I should ask you about your employment benefits, you will most likely emphasize on your take-home salary. For most employees, there may be other benefits that may not have been considered. What are they? How much is it worth to you? Are you missing out on opportunities to;
1. Reduce expenses
There may be expenses that you would have incurred if weren’t working with your current employer, an example is lunch. If it would have cost you GHC 600 to get lunch, you can take the expense item out of your budget and allocate the funds towards other important expenses or invest it.
2. Plan for your retirement
Beyond contributing to the mandatory Tier 1& 2 pension schemes, some employers contribute to Tier 3 PF or personal pension, unregistered provident fund schemes or may even have health benefits for their retired employees and their spouses at retirement. Having these benefits can make a significant difference and ensure a comfortable retirement.
3. Plan towards other future goals and create wealth
Apart from retirement plans and other cost savings opportunities mentioned earlier, other benefits like cheap loans, bonuses, allowances, cash gifts, commission, and employee stock option plans, professional development if used properly can help you create wealth and achieve your finance goals.
4. Prepare for financial emergencies.
Do you have access to benefits that help you handle emergencies that may come your way? Having a health insurance can help save money and give you peace of mind when you encounter health emergencies. Beyond this, your employment benefits may include other insurance products or arrangements to help you deal with unforeseen contingences.
5. Reduce your tax burden
Some employment benefits come with tax saving opportunities. Beyond the value you derive from that benefit, you also get to reduce your tax burden! An example of this is the tier 3 provident I mentioned earlier that allows you tax savings of up to 16.5% of your basic salary.
It is essential that you know, understand and take advantage of all opportunities you are entitled to. Review your employment contract or have discussion with the HR or whoever is in charge of employee benefits to understand what you are currently entitled to. If there are any good opportunities you haven’t fully taken advantage of, start now. If you are considering a job or career change, being well-informed about benefits offered by the available options will help you make better money decisions. It is important to look beyond your take-home but instead focus on but the long-term value of your entire compensation.