Pay attention to what’s hidden in your paycheck


Pay attention to what’s hidden in your paycheck

Great news! You may be earning 30 percent more than you think.

Even without that big pay raise you’ve been angling for, your employer is likely putting more into your paycheck than you know.

“Check that pay stub,” said Rob Hecker, vice president of corporate benefits for Colonial Life. “If you’ve been concentrating on take-home pay and the taxes you have to pay, you’ve been missing a big part of your compensation. You may not realize you have a second ‘hidden paycheck’ with substantial benefits to help protect your financial security.”

These benefits are paid partially or completely by your employer — and they typically add up to a third of your salary. So if you’re making $60,000 a year, your employer is investing another $20,000 in your benefits.

We’re talking about:

  • Paid vacations and sick leave
  • Group life, disability or hospitalization insurance
  • Retirement benefits
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Wellness programs
  • Parking
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Social Security
  • Workers’ compensation

And benefits matter. According to the 2015 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, three-quarters of employees say that the benefits package an employer offers prospective employees is extremely or very important in their decision to take the job.

So, when was the last time you got a 30 percent raise? “Some of these ‘hidden paycheck’ programs cover part of your medical costs when you’re injured or become ill,” Hecker said. “Others provide income if you can’t work, help you stay healthy and fit, or help you prepare for your retirement.”