Vital Partners Inc. Guest Blog by Jennifer Kirby, Principal BA,CFP, CLU, CHS, GBA

As your entrepreneurial firm grows, it may be time to consider a group benefit plan to attract and retain valuable employees to your firm.

Implementing a group benefit plan may sound daunting (not to mention costly), but you can start with a small plan, and work up to a more comprehensive program.

There are a few key ingredients to implementing a successful group plan at any stage:

  1. Budget – It is important to determine your organization’s budget for a plan, and consider whether a fixed monthly premiums or fluctuating costs are preferred. Keep in mind that the premiums for certain benefits can be shared with employees. For example, most employees would pay the cost for the long term disability coverage.
  2. Benefits Philosophy – an organization of any size should consider their benefits philosophy first to ensure that current goals and objectives align with a benefits plan. There are a few key things to consider here which will help shape the plan that you would like to offer. An example of one question may be: Do you want to offer employees a flexible vs. a traditional plan?
  3. Employee Input – Employee surveys can help determine the type of benefit plan that an organization may wish to offer. However, it is important to price out options and be prepared to act on suggestions so that employees are not discouraged about sharing their views. Leadership teams are often surprised with what is actually important to employees.
  4. Plan Marketing a.k.a “Shopping” – Once you have determined the type of plan that you would like to explore, your advisory form will be able to proceed with plan marketing. This simply means requesting quotes from various insurers and comparing what they are able to offer. Your advisor will then be able to compare the various quotes along with the strengths and weakness of each alternative.
  5. Plan Administration and Maintenance – It is important to have someone in your organization that can look after the plan and make sure things are running smoothly.

Whether you are considering a full benefits package which contains things like health, dental, disability and life insurance, or just wanting to add a health spending account, there are lots of options for companies with as few as one employee.

VBIAB-031014-051-Jen pictureJennifer is a Co-Founder of Vital Partners and has a passion for making sense of complex insurance and group benefits products through her collaborative approach. Jennifer works with business owners, individuals and entrepreneurial companies, and has a proven track record for helping clients design innovative and cost-effective insurance and employee benefits programs.