How To Find Employer Benefit Information

Insurance, paid time off, and other benefits can be just as important as salary

The employer and employee reviewing documents
Photo: Jovana Stojanovic / Getty Images

When you’re job searching, the employee benefits a company provides can be almost as valuable as your salary. In addition to health insurance, employers with good benefit plans can offer you paid time off, a flexible work schedule, 401(k) contributions, a retirement plan, financial planning services, disability insurance, life insurance, wellness programs, employee assistance programs, child care, tuition assistance, student loan repayment assistance, and even pet insurance.

What benefits do you need, and how can you find companies that offer them? The benefits that add the most value to your paycheck will depend on where you are in your career and personal life. You may not need some benefits, while others could make a big difference in the quality of your life.

Key Takeaways

  • Federal and state laws require employers to provide some benefits to employees. Other benefits are optional and offered at the discretion of the company.
  • Depending on the company, the employer may cover the entire cost of the benefits or the employee may have to pay some or all of the cost.
  • To find information about employer benefits, check employer websites, company reviews, online forums, and job postings.

You can optimize your total compensation at a job by considering employers who offer the benefits that match what you need at this stage of your career. Learn the most common benefits employers offer, how to determine which benefits are most important to you, and how to find employer benefits information when you’re job searching or considering a job offer.

Types of Employee Benefits

Mandated Benefits

Some employee benefits are mandated by law. This means that employers are required by federal or state law to offer them. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires certain companies to provide unpaid leave to eligible employees for family or health issues. Large employers covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must offer health insurance to eligible employees or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


Some states (and cities) mandate employee benefits coverage, such as disability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, family leave, and sick leave. State and local mandates vary widely by location.

Optional Benefits

In addition to those mandated by law, there are many other benefit options that companies provide, such as retirement savings and planning, vision and dental insurance, leave benefits, and education and career development benefits. Companies offer these benefits for several reasons. A solid benefits package will help an employer compete for talent, reduce employee turnover, and make a positive difference in their employees' lives.

Company benefits packages vary based on the company’s goals, mission, and financial situation, but the SHRM's Employee Benefits Survey ranks health-related benefits, retirement savings and planning, leave and family care benefits, and flexible work benefits as the most important to employers.

Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are offered by employers but paid for by the employees who decide to use them. For example, a company may offer gym memberships, dental insurance, or care for older adults that are paid for through a payroll deduction.

Most Common Employee Benefits

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employee benefits most commonly offered by private industry employers include the following:

  • Paid holidays: 81%
  • Paid sick leave: 77%
  • Paid vacation: 79%
  • Health care benefits: 70%
  • Retirement benefits: 69%
  • Life insurance: 57%
  • Wellness programs: 43%
  • Short-term disability insurance: 43%
  • Long-term disability insurance: 35%
  • Flexible work schedule: 16% (nonunion workers)
  • End-of-year bonuses: 11%
  • Student loan repayment: 4%


Large employers (over 500 employees) tend to have more expansive benefits plans, including employee assistance programs (84%) and child care (28%).

Decide What Benefits Are Most Important to You

A survey from recruitment software company Workable reported that 62.2% of respondents said that salary, benefits, and other perks are major factors in their decision to accept or pass up a new job.

Which benefits are most important? Most employees need health insurance, sick leave, and paid time off from work, and the majority of employers include these benefits in their employee benefits plans. But depending on your personal circumstances, you may—or may not—need other benefits. For example, if you’re juggling work and a family, a flexible schedule can help you balance your commitments. 

When you’re planning on continuing your education, a company that offers tuition assistance will help you with the costs. If you have student loan debt, a company that will help you pay it off will be worth considering. A good retirement plan can help you with long-term financial planning and preparing for the future. 

When you’re job searching, it can be helpful to make a list of the benefits that you need to have in your next job. Then add the benefits that aren’t essential but that you’d appreciate having to the list. You can use the list to evaluate employers that you’d like to work for and to find jobs that offer the benefits that you’re looking for.

How To Find Employer Benefits Information

When you’re looking for a new position, there are different strategies you can use to find jobs that offer the benefits you want. One option is to find employers with benefits packages that are attractive to you and then check on what jobs they have available. An alternative is to search for job openings and then research the organization’s benefits to see if they are a match. 


When you have a job offer, you’ll be able to ask questions to confirm benefit options so you can be sure there’s a fit before accepting it. You may even be able to negotiate for some benefits.

How To Find Employers With Good Benefits

Search Best Company Lists

Many of the employers on the “best company” lists are large employers, and bigger organizations often have more comprehensive benefits packages.

Read Company Reviews

Read company reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed to learn about what an employer has to offer. Current and former employees often leave reviews that will explain what the company does and does not offer.

You can also use online forums to collect information on companies of interest. For example, Reddit has a “So what’s good about working at Target” forum. 


Search Google for terms such as “companies with the best benefits” or “companies with the best health insurance” to read roundups of organizations with excellent benefits.

Use Social Media

Almost every large company and many small ones have a social media presence you can use to get information about what it’s like working at the company. Amazon’s Inside Amazon and Amazon Fulfillment Jobs pages, for example, can provide insights. Search the pages for “benefits” to get a list of related posts.

Check the Company Website

You’ll be able to find a benefits overview in the “Careers” or “About Us” sections of a company’s website. 


If you need more information about a company of interest, use LinkedIn and your college career network to see who you know with ties to the organization. They may be able to give you some insider information.

How To Find Jobs With Good Benefits

When you know what benefits are most important to you, you can streamline your job search by searching for job postings that include them. The leading job sites have advanced search options you can use to target employers that offer things like health insurance or paid time off. 

Search job postings using general keywords (for example, "benefits" or "employee benefits") or input more specific terms (for example, "health insurance," "vision care," "retirement plan") to generate a list of jobs that match your requirements.

Get the Benefit Plan Details

Once you get to the hiring stage of the job search process, you’ll want to confirm that the benefits are what you expected. When you have a job offer, ask to see the employee benefit plan details before you accept the position (you don’t want any surprises), and be sure to read the fine print.

If the plan benefits aren’t clear or you have questions, ask for information on what the company will cover and what you’ll need to pay for out of pocket, if anything. You can also request a copy of the plan summary or plan documents to review.


It’s important to ask questions and follow up with the hiring manager or the human resources department to be sure you have all the details you need to make an educated decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best employee benefits?

Surveys show that the best employee benefits include health care, retirement savings, leave, family care, flexible work, and professional and career benefits.

Are employers required to provide health insurance to employees?

Some employers are required to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. However, some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) apply only to applicable large employers (in general, those with 50 or more full-time employees).

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Labor. “Family and Medical Leave Act.”

  2. IRS. “Determining if an Employer is an Applicable Large Employer.”

  3. NCSL. “State Family and Medical Leave Laws.”

  4. SHRM. “SHRM 2022 Employee Benefits Survey.”

  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employee Benefits in the United States Summary.”

  6. Workable. “The Great Discontent: 2021 Worker Survey (US).”

  7. IRS. “Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions for Large Employers.”

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