Tag Archives: 401K

Where Do You Currently Stand on Benefits? Three Comments

Situation: A small company (fewer than 50 employees) is reviewing their employee benefit package and wants to get a sense of what others are currently covering in their benefit packages. Where does your company currently stand on employee benefits, and what does your company cover in its benefit package?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • A recent small (unscientific) poll of entrepreneurial Silicon Valley SMB Companies on benefits offered found:
    • Health: 100%, Dental: 83%, Vision: 67%, Disability: 17%
    • 401K: 100%, 401K Match: 33% (most companies eliminated the match to reduce costs)
    • Reduced benefits in the last 6 months: 67%
    • Employee complaints or recruiting challenges following cuts: 0%
  • One company commented that when a key customer cut their payments they had to cut benefits. They reduced the company payment from 100% to 50% of benefit cost. Their employees make choices among options available, with a company dollar payment cap. Management explained the situation when they made the cuts, and there were no objections.
  • Several companies have shifted to consumer directed health care options.
  • A comment of caution was offered by one CEO – employees are unlikely to object to their company needing to reduce benefits to get through a difficult market. However, as conditions improve, employees are likely to expect some level of return to prior benefit levels. If not, the company at risk of increased turnover. It is best to stay ahead of the curve to assure that your benefits packages are competitive.

How Can You Best Use Excess Profits? Five Suggestions

Situation: A company, an S Corporation, produced substantial profits during the first 6 months of their fiscal year. This becomes taxable personal income to the owners if it remains profits. How would you advise the CEO and owners to make best use of these excess profits?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Use some of the funds to invest in new opportunities for the future growth of the company.
  • Prepay significant costs like software licenses multiple years in advance. Make sure that you attend to your accounting so that you properly reflect the ongoing profitability of the business. Otherwise, what you may believe is profitable in future years will not reflect true profitability because you will not be accounting for all of your true expenses.
  • Is anyone in the company deserving of a one-time special bonus for performance or a salary increase?
  • It may make sense to take dollars out of the company and to diversify owners’ investments by investing in real estate, stocks, etc.
    • Check out the current rules around 401K programs that may allow you to invest increased amounts per year per person. Talk to your financial advisor about the details and regulations surrounding these programs.
  • List your alternatives and compare the anticipated ROI, on an after-tax basis, of the various options. This will help you to evaluation options including:
    • Reinvesting in the business – various options.
    • Investing outside of the business – various options.
    • Talk to your financial planner about the choices.