Benefits: Guiding Principles

For the most part, benefits fall into categories designed to foster:

  • Employee wellness and protection against catastrophic expenses (through various medical insurances)
  • Income protection in the event of death or disability (through benefits such as life insurance and disability insurance)
  • Financial security for the future (through a mandatory retirement plan and optional savings plans)
  • Employee morale (by offering the convenience of payroll deduction for benefits such as auto insurance)

As a manager or supervisor, you are not expected to know all the details pertaining to benefits plans. However, you should:

  • Understand the scope of benefit programs
  • Be aware of eligibility issues when structuring new appointments or changing existing appointments
  • Encourage employees to use telephone and web-based systems for getting information and taking benefits actions
  • Know which events in the employee's life cycle trigger changes in eligibility
  • Be sure that employees know about all benefits options available to them and that they are enrolled by applicable deadlines
  • Assure that when eligibility or coverage ends, the employee has access to information on possible options
  • Advise employees to contact the Benefits Unit to apply for benefits (such as disability and retirement) as soon as you become aware of special situations
  • Encourage employees to consider their options when new benefits are introduced, or during special periods of eligibility such as the annual Open Enrollment Period