Be it your first job or the subsequent jump, most individuals are focused on the salary on offer. However, there are some non-salary benefits that one enjoys when he is employed. It makes sense to take into account these benefits also while choosing your next employer. These benefits may or may not appear in the employer’s CTC offer but can make a big difference for the employees.
Insurance: Most professionally-managed companies offer insurance cover (death/hospitalization or both) to their employees. The life insurance cover is a fixed amount and generally capped at up to 3X CTC of the individual. The health cover on the other hand is in the range of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh in most cases. If your future employer does not offer these benefits, then you may have to buy additional cover on your own. In some cases, due to poor health or otherwise (like maternity cover, pre-existing disease etc.) you may not get these covers on individual insurance platform. It is advisable to have an insurance cover 10 times your salary. Provided your future employer does not provide you the same benefits or you lose your job, or something happens in the interim when you are switching jobs it is always advisable to have you personal insurance cover also, but in case of medical emergency you should use the corporate health cover first and let no claim bonus add up on your personal policy.
Loans from banks/NBFCs: If you are working with a blue-chip company, banks are generally keen to offer you a loan/ credit cards. Some banks and NBFC view employees of large companies as better prospects as compared to employees of SMEs. The interest rate on offer could also be attractive if compared with the rate offered to one employed with a relatively unknown company.
Residential facilities: Some companies offer their employees residential facilities in prime locations. Public sector units and some old companies have ‘employee quarters’ in the prime locations in various cities or close to factories in remote locations. The employee can stay in such facilities as long as he is employed with the company. If he decides to resign or retires at the age of superannuation, he is expected to vacate the house. There is though a risk that sometimes the apartments may not be well-maintained.
Loans offered by employers: Some employers offer home loans and personal loans to the employees at subsidized interest rates. That makes a good saving for the employee. When taking a loan from the employer you should make full disclosure of the purpose of loan to the employer to take advantage of tax benefits. For eg in case of loans taken for treatment of diseases specified or if the total loan amount availed is less than Rs. 20,000 one need not pay any tax. However in other cases be it interest free or at the concessional rate the savings on the interest front are taxable in the hands of the employee.
Sponsored training / professional education: In-house training sessions are arranged by many employers to ensure re-skilling of their employees. Some employers also encourage employees to take up professional courses and sponsor such courses. In case of large investments in training, sometimes employers ask employees to sign a bond. One should study the bond before entering into such an arrangement.