Benefits

Methodology

Benefits can be difficult to understand and calculate, and as a result are historically the most under-emphasized element of a compensation package. Company plans vary widely with little standardization outside of health and retirement plans. Nevertheless, the major components to keep track of are (cite BLS): health, retirement, PTO, disability/life insurance. Other major components include transportation/commuting, professional development, cell phone or computer stipend, parental leave and child support policies, free meals, fitness/gym stipend - the list goes on. 

When you receive an offer, you should make sure to ask for a benefits document. If it doesn’t provide the financial details of the benefits, ask for them. Then do the math to convert each benefit into an annual value, even if you have to approximate. You can find thousands of dollars in differences between benefits plans, so this is important to check.