Workplace perks are great! Who doesn’t like employee-friendly perks? At least those of us that are employees, anyway.
Well, they’re wonderful, but slowly disappearing. Going the way of the dinosaurs, on the way to extinction in some cases:) A recent article in U.S. News highlighted 21 workplace benefits that are fading away. Some of them are essential, some seem more like wants rather than needs.
Here’s the list of benefits they say are fading away, with my comments following.
- Traditional Pension Plans
- Retiree Health Coverage
- Long-term Care Insurance
- Paid Family Leave
- Adoption Assistance
- Professional Development Opportunities
- Life Insurance for Dependents
- Incentive Bonus Plans
- Contraceptive Coverage
- Casual Dress Day
- Legal Assistance
- Sports Team Coverage
- Executive Club Memberships
- Relocation Benefits
- Help Purchasing a Home
- Travel Perks
- The Company Picnic
- Company-Sponsored Tickets
- Take Your Child To Work Day
Personally, the ones that jump out at me as being essential are 1, 2, 3, 5, and 9. These are the ones that I think are most directly related to one’s financial needs in my view. Number 5 in particular strikes me as being crazy – there are some things we should be able to get as employees.
The rest of these…well, maybe I take a contrarian view. They may be nice, but I don’t see them as truly being necessary for an employer to provide. Casual dress day is simply not high priority in the grand scheme of things. Take your child to work day may be nice, but it’s not a necessary perk. I’ve taken my child to work, and don’t think a formal day was a priority compared to many other benefits. I’ll take more money in exchange for a take your child to work day! The company picnic is in no way important. I’ve seen people in prior jobs get really worked up over how some of these perks were eliminated or curtailed. Totally indignant in a couple of cases, in fact! I guess I never cared; they don’t impact the bottom line, so why get worked up. Rather, just view changes are signals of the direction in which the company may be going.
Back to the five benefits that I mentioned, however. The reality that these are diminishing really speaks to the need of people to take individual responsibility for retirement and financial needs. There won’t be the “system” or “they” or “them” to take care of any of us in retirement. It will be us as individuals who have to take care of ourselves.
The pensions being eliminated speaks to it strongest. The cash flow we’ll be getting in retirement will be generated directly from cash we have earned and actually saved. I don’t want to count on social security, and don’t factor it in any calculations. As for health insurance and long-term care – can we really count on that in the long-term future? Who knows. Maybe it’s best to just save and make extra money. Best to be self-sufficient if possible!
And don’t sweat the loss of sports team memberships or company-sponsored tickets:)
My Questions For You
What do you think of this list?
Which of these benefits strike you as being essential?
Have you noticed any changes in workplace benefits in recent years?