Finance News & Insights

Total compensation statement pitfalls

More employers are using total comp statements to show their staffers that they’re getting much more than their salaries. But this can easily backfire. 

Here’s how to spot — and fix — common problems with these statements:

Incorrect info. Inadvertent math errors are the most regular — and damaging — problems with the total compensation statements.

To reduce the risk of this problem occurring:

  • List all data sources used (Payroll, 401(k) provider, health plan carrier, etc.), and
  • Ask each source to pull and review a couple random samples. If the samples are clean, chances are your statements are fine. If not, your statements are probably riddled with errors.

Note: Some statements are set up as a single list of costs — one line after another — which increases the risk of something going on the wrong line. Better bet: Break the total comp statement into different sections (salary, health care, retirement, etc.) to decrease errors and make the statements easier for employees to understand.

The opposite effect. Instead of boosting satisfaction, these statements can actually make a small percentage of staffers more upset — triggering them to ask “Why can’t you just increase my salary instead?” If you forsee this being a problem, it may be a good idea to add a section to statements that shows employees how much it would cost them to get their own health insurance.

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