Flexible Benefits Plan Essay

1222 words - 5 pages

Flexible benefit plan The employees of today?s workforce are divers. With such a workforce at hand, an employer must have a flexible benefit plan to match the composition of its employees. Flexible benefit plans are a written plan under which employees of a company are allowed to choose two or more benefits consisting of cash and qualified benefits (Everett & Miller, 1994). Some benefits offered under a flexible benefit plan are health care, dental, reimbursement accounts, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, long-term disability, vacation, retirement savings, spouse accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and dependent care (Kleiner & Sparks, 1994).A young couple can be assured that their jobs not only meet the daily needs of their growing family, but that their children are covered for very little cost in their own employer-provided hospitalization and health care insurance. A worker employed by the same organization, approaching retirement, can choose benefits that will maximize his/her retirement income as much as possible. With his/her own children grown-up, he/she needs to attend only to his/her own needs.Also known as ?cafeteria plans,? the organization offering a choice of applicable benefits to their employees ensures that the benefits for which they pay are the most useful for each of their employees. Costs are rising in almost every area of benefit provision and administration. The organization is able to secure more favorable rates for those benefits used, if the organization is not required to provide the same service to each employee (Webster, 1996).Employee benefit plans have had a long history, and can be traced back to 1794, when the first profit-sharing plan was created by Albert Gallatin in his glassworks in Pennsylvania (Kleiner & Sparks, 1994). Another notable benefit plan includes those made by the American Express Company in 1875 with the first private pension plan, and the first group annuity contract issued in 1921 by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Kleiner & Sparks, 1994). These early benefit plans were only the beginning of the benefit packages. As it turns out, the Social Security Act of 1935 gave employees across the country a legal framework that supported the development of many forms of employee benefits.Very few employers provide full family health care coverage at no cost to the employee in today?s world, but everyone can save when they provide that coverage only to those who need it. Even though the employee almost always shares the cost now, the employer still provides the major portion of the cost of health care insurance. In today?s increasingly competitive business climate, everyone is forced to operate as efficiently as possible.The advantage to the organization and employees of having a flexible benefit plan is clear. Businesses are not required to pay for services its employees will never seek. For instance, pediatric care was provided across the board...

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