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Asked by Sam on October 23, 2016

I just received a great job offer! They emailed me the total compensation package and I'm attempting to decipher it all. The salary portion is pretty straight forward, but what should I be looking for when it comes to healthcare, dental, time off, etc?

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on October 24, 2016

Congratulations on your job offer!  That is great news!  When you look through the paperwork, you are looking for written confirmation of all aspects of your offer.  You've got salary covered, so now you need to know what your Insurance is going to cost, what your bonus structure looks like (if there is one in place), what the 401K match is (if there is one in place), how many days of paid time off you will receive and when you will receive them, what the sick day policy is and any remaining perks that are part of your offer.

It is a good idea to inspect what you expect.  If it isn't in writing, how are you going to refer back to it when you want to use a promised resource? 

Talk with the recruiter that is working on your offer if there is something you are not clear on, they likely have literature they can give you or are highly knowledgeable themselves. 

I can't speak directly to your offer, so this is what I would do for myself:

Salary - What is the pay period and when would I receive my first check.
Bonus - Is there a company or position based bonus? Am I now or will I be eligible?  Is it a percentage or a lump sum? When will it be paid out?
Medical/Dental/Vision - What is the co-pay, deductible, maximum out of pocket, if I am currently under the care of a doctor, is that doctor covered by my new insurance
401K - What is the match provided by the company
Pension - Is there a pension?  What percentage is being contributed?  When will I be fully vested
Vacation Days - How many Paid Time Off days am I receiving?  Am I eligible to take them immediately or will I need to earn them over the course of the year
Sick time/Unpaid Days off - What is the company policy

This is a basic overview, for the purpose of getting you started.  This is not legal advice.  Each situation will be different and I encourage you to be proactive as you determine what is going to be the best outcome for you.  Best of luck!

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Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on October 28, 2016

This is a great question, because your salary is not your only piece of compensation. You need to look at all the pieces of your package: healthcare, dental, vision, short and long term disability, 401K match, pension, holidays, time off, wellness programs, and discount programs. The first step is to sit down and write down what you need personally. Then you have the information needed to assess all the aspects of the package. A 401K or a savings plan are important for the long term of career planning. Determine how much your company matches and ensure you are getting the most you can from the company. Do not leave free money on the table. The recruiting team should be able to walk you through your entire package to understand each offering. This is important and you should not be confused or afraid to ask questions regarding your total compensation. Congrats. 

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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on November 1, 2016

Congratulations on your offer! The great news is that you’ve cleared the hurdle that is the interview process and have crossed the finish line victorious (pardon my track and field reference), however, now you have to wade through what can sometimes feel like endless paperwork and life changing decisions that come as part of your offer. Make this easier for yourself and break it down into smaller pieces. Monetary compensation (salary, bonuses, etc.), major benefits (health, vision, dental, time off, etc.) and fringe benefits (stock options, employee purchase perks, discounts, etc). What you want to be looking for in all of these areas is surprisingly simple – what do you require to satisfy your needs? For example, when it comes to health, vision, and dental plans, what do you need? Review the plan or plans offered and dig down into them to find what plans are offers, what the costs are, what they cover, and choose the one that is right for you. If you don’t wear glasses or contacts and rarely, if ever, have gone to the eye doctor, you most likely don’t need vision coverage, or at least not a very robust plan. What is right for each person when reviewing an offer is completely different, but don’t hesitate to review with a friend or family member!

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