Employee benefits for small businesses: the complete guide | OnPay

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From health insurance to retirement to perks, here’s a complete guide to offering great employee benefits for your small business.

Employee benefits for small businesses

Everything you need to know about taking care of your employees and creating a great place to work.

Get more help with benefits

Find benefits guides, articles, and more

Employer-sponsored benefits are a way to give your employees something that goes above and beyond good wages — like health insurance, retirement savings, paid vacation, and commuter benefits. Even perks like ping pong tables or free lunch can go a long way toward making your workplace a lot happier. Depending on the size of your business, some benefits are required; others are voluntary. But no matter what benefits you choose for your employees, your decision-making process should start with understanding what’s out there, how much it’s going to cost, and what makes sense for your team.


We’ve got your back with employer benefits 101 — detailed guides covering everything from creating PTO policies to finding health benefits packages and adding retirement savings programs.


Curious about how to get HR right for your business?

Read more in our HR Resource Center.

Getting help with benefits

As you dig in, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as perfect small business benefits, package because every business is different. It’s a great idea to get employee input if you want to really understand what makes your team tick, but what you choose should ultimately be a product of what need to offer to remain competitive (or make your benefits a competitive advantage), what you’re required to offer, and how much you want to spend.


And, of course, you’ll need to understand the administrative burden. Keeping track of the moving parts behind withholding health insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions can be complicated for businesses of any size. Maybe that’s why 28% of the small business owners we talked to use benefits administration software — almost the same number that use HR software (27%) and about half of those who use payroll software (60%).


But since keeping all of this straight is essential to keeping your team happier (and more productive), thinking about how to offer benefits can be just as important as which employee benefits to offer.


If you look of outside help, here’s what you should look for in a small business benefits provider:


Core benefits offered

Additional services

  • ACA compliance
  • Employee education and self-service
  • Syncing deductions with payroll
  • The ability to advise on less traditional benefits and perks, like fertility benefits, commuter benefits, or education reimbursement

Everything you need to know to offer great employee benefits

Health insurance is the benefit that your employees want the most (followed by PTO and retirement benefits). Here’s detailed guidance on everything else you need to know to get things right for your team:

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