Should You Offer Your Employees Retirement Plans?

The pros and cons of enhancing your benefits package with a 401(k) option 

Amanda Clark
Amanda Clark

There are a number of ways to make your employee benefits package look more attractive, and one of the major ones is including retirement planning options. Such provisions show that you’re invested in your employees — not just in the short term, but also in the long term. It provides meaningful ways for everyone at the company to plan for the future. And there are even tax advantages to consider.

The benefits

In fact, the argument for providing a 401(k) option (or some related retirement plan) is a pretty solid one. Consider:

  • Congress wants employers to help their employees retire, and one of the ways they encourage them to do so is by offering tax advantages. For most employers, retirement plans will reduce taxable income.
  • Retirement plans make your entire compensation package look more attractive and potentially give you a leg up in hiring top talent. In other words, it can be a real boon to your recruitment efforts.
  • For companies that are cash-strapped — especially new companies, where cash flow is often more of a problem — retirement plans can be a good way to enhance your benefits package without having to pay a lot of money out of pocket on the front-end.
  • Some companies tie their retirement options to performance, meaning the employees who are most productive and add the most value to the company get the best retirement contributions. This can help you boost your team’s productivity.
  • A final note: Many entrepreneurs struggle to set aside money for their own retirement. But remember, you can use your company retirement plan to build your own future, as well.

The bottom line: A company retirement plan can benefit everyone involved, and thus, it can be not just an important part of your benefits package, but also a hallmark of your company culture.

Are there downsides?

There is a significant list of advantages to offering retirement options to your employees, but in the interest of fairness, there are also a couple of drawbacks that you might consider: 

  • Actually setting up and maintaining a retirement plan can be time-consuming, or costly if you outsource it. You’ll want to make sure you fully understand the administrative side of this before you commit to it.
  • Ensuring a retirement plan that’s solid and beneficial will most likely require some ongoing advice from a financial professional — which, again, can run up some costs. 

Retirement planning benefits are too powerful to ignore, even if they’re not always feasible for every company. If the expense involved with setting up a plan is off-putting to you, it may be worth reaching out to an accountant for a ballpark figure on just how much it will cost. If you can make the numbers work, adding retirement savings to your benefits package will only bolster your company culture and your recruiting.

About the Author 
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



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