Not All Executive Benefits Plans Are Equal, But They Can Be Equitable

smiling muslim woman
By Opal Tomashevska , Kwame Smith

3 minutes

5 things to consider when raising your awareness of employees’ needs

Personalization of employee benefits is quickly becoming table stakes in the war for talent acquisition and retention. Top talent, especially, expect to have more of a say in their overall compensation. When feedback and choice are in the mix, organizations and employees can experience mutual benefits. Employees are potentially rewarded with the financial and wellness benefits that matter most to them, and employers can experience higher levels of engagement, as well as attract and retain the best of the best. 

Ideally, credit unions will discover what matters most to an executive by asking. However, it can’t be overlooked that some people have a difficult time saying what they need or even knowing what they need. For this reason, it is incumbent on credit unions to increase their awareness of the many different attitudes, values, motivations and beliefs that exist across diverse leadership segments. Here are five things to consider.

1. Family Expectations

In some cultures, children are raised to support their elders in their sunset years. In others, the wealthiest family member is expected to help relatives meet their financial obligations. Such values of filial piety may manifest in things like multigenerational households or regular disbursements to extended families in a country of origin. Executives who adhere to these values may bring a more complex set of calculations to the compensation-negotiating table. They must compute not only what they need to live comfortably, but what their family members need to do the same. 

2. First-Generation Learning

Executives who represent the first generation of their families to be born in the U.S. may not have been exposed to the mainstream financial system in the same way as multigenerational American executives. Without familiarity with things like 401(k)s, retirement packages, insurance and bonuses, these professionals may be learning as they go. 

3. Underlying Principles and Ethics

In the U.S., compound interest is considered foundational to generating wealth. Yet, participating in interest goes against some religious and ethical values. Islamic law, for example, prohibits paying, charging or earning interest. This may make traditional retirement savings mechanisms unattractive to Muslim executives who strive to adhere to these principles when possible. 

4. Family Planning Expenses

Costs associated with having a child are dramatically elevated for executives who adopt, partner with a surrogate or undergo fertility treatments. Executives planning for families may be doing so amid a range of other big-ticket financial obligations, such as buying a home or paying down college debt. Executive benefits packages that make starting or growing a family easier could be a deciding factor for top talent considering their employment options. 

5. Number of Earning Years

Primary caregivers for children and aging parents may come to a leadership position with fewer earning years under their belts. Female executives’ biggest-income years, therefore, may not be as high as their male counterparts, reducing their expected Social Security payout. Financially savvy leaders who have calculated what they’ll need for thriving sunset years may insist on greater-than-expected contributions from their credit union employer. 

The “people helping people” promise is not limited to members. Employees, too, should benefit from the industry’s commitment to building a better future for all. Due to a range of circumstances, some credit union executives and up-and-comers may not know to ask for certain benefits; they may be intimidated to ask for others. Therefore, the executive sponsors of a credit union’s benefits initiative should be prepared to advise as much as to inquire about the benefits top talent should expect.

Opal Tomashevska is director of multicultural business strategy for TruStage, a CUESolutions provider. Kwame Smith is executive benefits specialist for Cuna Mutual Group Executive Benefit Solutions.

The views presented here are the author’s alone and not necessarily representative of opinions held by LPL Financial or any affiliated entity. TruStage is not affiliated with LPL Financial or its affiliates. CUNA Mutual Group and Cuna Mutual Group are marketing names for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries, and affiliates. Certain brokered insurance products from various insurers may be offered through CUNA Mutual Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of CUNA Mutual Group. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. For more information, contact your Executive Benefits Specialist at 800-356-2644. Securities and advisory services, when presented, are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Certain insurance products may be offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services as part of the executive benefits plans at CUNA Mutual Group. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of CMFG Life Insurance Company or CUNA Mutual Group. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are: Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency | Not Credit Union Guaranteed | Not Credit Union Deposits or Obligations | May Lose Value EXBEN-6240990.1-0124-02260-
© Cuna Mutual Group Executive Benefit Solutions
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