Money Matters – Last Week Of The Year: Back To Work

BOSTON (CBS) – Many of you have tomorrow off and a long weekend to celebrate the New Year.

[Audio|titles=Back To Work|artists=Dee Lee]

It’s the beginning of the New Year and it’s a good time to review what benefits you have at work. Did you receive an employee handbook way back when you started? Have you read it?

If you have been with the same company for a while request a new book and see if they have added any new benefits. There could be benefits you are not taking advantage of.

Many companies have decreased their company match or no longer offer a company match to their 401(k) plan. When times are tough companies look for ways to cut the bottom line. But you still need to do retirement planning.

Vacation and sick leave. If you don’t use it will you lose it? More and more companies are changing their policies and requiring employees to use the time off in the fiscal year. You don’t want to lose weeks of paid leave.

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to save more? Does your company have a savings plan? Could be EE Saving bonds, a Christmas club or a credit union. Do you belong to the credit union?

Are you having your paycheck directly deposited into the credit union or your bank? Always a good idea. No need to stop by the bank on Thursday night to deposit your check!

Healthcare; a really big issue. Do they offer more than one plan to choose from? What best suits you and your family? If you are not married will they cover your partner and children? Does the dental cover orthodontics?

Insurance; how much Life insurance do they provide? Is it enough? Disability insurance? Do they offer Long Term Care insurance? Discounts on auto insurance?

Memberships in a discount club such as BJ’s. There may be a small charge or it could be free.

Health club discounts. Shopping discounts. Weight Watchers memberships.

Tuition reimbursement; this may be a very good time to update your work skills. Check to see if you need a B or better to get the reimbursement?

Flex Spending Plan; this plan allows you to contribute money pre-tax to an account for child care or health care. You usually need to sign up for this plan in the fall but if its available make yourself a note to sign up for next year. If you have little ones you know that good child care can cost over $10,000 to $20,000 for the year.

Check your employee manual. Those benefits are worth real dollars to you!

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