Author Topic: Opportunity to hand pick retirement, health benefits - What should I ask for?  (Read 1933 times)

Future Lazy

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Hi All,

I recently accepted a job offer from an insurance agency. I'll be their first employee for their growing business, and so I have an opportunity to hand pick some of my benefits. The job I'm leaving has an extremely good benefits package, and the basics of what my new employer has offered me are (so far) matching or better than what my previous employee offered.

Both retirement and health benefits are up in the air, I can choose pretty much anything I want. Part of the competitive job offer on health benefits includes my employer paying the insurance premium in full monthly. I currently have an HSA I'd like to stick with.

What sort of health benefits should I ask for? Something similar to my current plan, or go for something better? It would be great to have funds to set aside for things not typically covered by health insurance, such as mental health care, nutrition guidance and chiropractic treatments. If my current employer funds my HSA, is it fair to ask my new employer to do the same, since they've given me the authority to be choosey?

Likewise, I've got free reign to choose my retirement benefits; if you could pick any retirement benefits, what would you ask for? I'm 24, so whatever retirement benefits I choose, they'll be for the long-term.

I feel somewhat obligated to set the bar high, as I anticipate my set up (or something similar) will roll over to any future employees that are hired as the company grows.

Suggestions?
Kayla

bacchi

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HSA and limited-purpose FSA.

Yes, it's fair to ask the employer to kick in something for the HSA. HDHP reduces premium costs; some of that should be returned to the employees.

Future Lazy

  • Bristles
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HSA and limited-purpose FSA.

Yes, it's fair to ask the employer to kick in something for the HSA. HDHP reduces premium costs; some of that should be returned to the employees.


That makes sense, I'll keep that in mind. My current employer funds my HSA with my entire deductible amount once yearly, which is a sweet deal. I don't expect that from my new employer, since it's very much above and beyond, but it would be nice to have some matching or something.

Why ask for the FSA in addition?

bacchi

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A limited-purpose FSA can cover expenses that aren't covered by health insurance, such as dental or vision costs. For example, you know that you'll go to the dentist this year for a check-up so you put $100 pre-tax dollars into the LPFSA. Same goes for glasses or LASIK.

http://www.conexismarketing.com/employees/faq-library/limited-purpose-fsa-faqs

Oh, that reminds me -- any 401k should a "true up" feature. This will ensure that you get the full employer match.

http://budgeting.thenest.com/definition-trueup-401k-26442.html

Another benefit that one place I worked for had: on your birthday, you get the day off and a $100 bonus.

Do you travel? Guidewire has some awesome travel benefit for their consultants.

Future Lazy

  • Bristles
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A limited-purpose FSA can cover expenses that aren't covered by health insurance, such as dental or vision costs. For example, you know that you'll go to the dentist this year for a check-up so you put $100 pre-tax dollars into the LPFSA. Same goes for glasses or LASIK.

http://www.conexismarketing.com/employees/faq-library/limited-purpose-fsa-faqs

Isn't that the same function, essentially, as an HSA? Why have an HSA and an FSA?

That true up info is really helpful, thanks!

Travel and time off isn't currently negotiable, but not super important to me. I'm not big on travel or vacations, I just want the occasional three day weekend. :)

seattlecyclone

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One great thing to have in a 401(k) is a combination of traditional after-tax contributions and in-service withdrawals of these contributions. This enables the "mega backdoor Roth IRA" that has been discussed elsewhere.

ruraljuror

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If you're employer will likely not fund your entire deductible in an HSA, why not set up a benefit rich health insurance plan (including super low deductible) in which the company pays the high premium? If you're sticking with this company and plan for the long term, it could really pay off if you have a family.

etselec

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A limited-purpose FSA can cover expenses that aren't covered by health insurance, such as dental or vision costs. For example, you know that you'll go to the dentist this year for a check-up so you put $100 pre-tax dollars into the LPFSA. Same goes for glasses or LASIK.

http://www.conexismarketing.com/employees/faq-library/limited-purpose-fsa-faqs

Isn't that the same function, essentially, as an HSA? Why have an HSA and an FSA?

...

HSA and FSA are both pretax money for health expenses, but there are some key differences.

HSA only comes with certain high-deductible plans, and the money rolls over from year to year. There are a bunch of really great rules that mean a savvy Mustachian can make an HSA function basically like another IRA.

FSA expires at the end of each year if you put in $500 and only spend $300 on medical expenses, you don't get the $200 back. Using an FSA for expected health expenses means you can leave more money in your HSA to do that extra cool basically-an-IRA thing.

So, things to ask for:
  • 401k with a company that offers good low-cost index funds (like Vanguard or Fidelity), and the features seattlecyclone suggested
  • 401k match not sure what's standard in your industry but try to get as much as you can
  • Options for HDHP or low-deductible health insurance plan (will be important if you have a family or develop an expensive chronic health condition)
  • HSA with good investment options (in low-cost index funds)
  • FSA for medical expenses AND dependent care FSA (you don't want this now, but you or another employee may have eventual daycare expenses)
  • Pre-tax commuter benefit, if you take public transit or if future employees are likely to

Most of these benefits shouldn't be a hard sell many are tax benefits that cost little to the employer (and in some cases, save the employer money on Medicare & SS taxes).