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Noncash compensation alternative to raising wages

By Margaret Lett, PhD

Negotiation for higher pay and promotions is happening at the speed of Silicon Valley on espresso. With a wage war in many sectors, what more can employers provide to tip the balance for staff retention?

How about pretax health care benefits to full-time and part-time workers alike?

While some small employers embrace traditional group health insurance, others have always intentionally avoided the concept. Belief persists that group health benefits are too expensive to offer to all employees, but frequently increasing base pay is not the answer either.

Instead, small employers can explore noncash compensation that reimburses their employees for health insurance premiums and/or expenses they will have anyway. Plus, employees could pay less in payroll and income taxes in the long run.

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