For a number of good reasons, it is customary for employers to provide a level of benefits beyond the cash wages paid to their employees. Historically the two most important reasons are the employer’s need to compete in the marketplace for desirable workers and workers’ needs and desires to raise their living standards.

The financial planner should be able to recognize and evaluate the benefits available through a specific employers plan. While the benefits offered to an employee are usually initiated by the employer, often they may be supplemented and strengthened through separate measures taken by the employee.

After reading this module, you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of available health and welfare benefits. This will be applicable when providing assistance to employers as they choose the specific benefits to provide, and also when providing assistance to employees who need to understand their employerprovided benefits as well as identifying areas where they may need additional coverage.

This module will review various benefits commonly offered to employees. Beginning with group life insurance coverage, then discussing group health insurance, and finally other miscellaneous benefits often included in an employee plan.

About the Authors

Kristen MacKenzie, MBA, CFP®, CRPC® is an associate professor at the College for Financial Planning. Kristen has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, both as an active financial planner and as a provider of financial education. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in economics and later received her MBA at the University of Colorado.

Michael Angell, CFP®, EA is an associate professor at the College for Financial Planning. He obtained his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Creighton University. His 20+ years of work experience includes banking, insurance, investments, retirement, and estate planning. In addition to his responsibilities at the College, Michael also serves as a private client services advisor with an independent investment firm and is also a federally licensed tax practitioner with a nationally recognized company. You can contact him at

Complexity Level: Intermediate