At my employer (a.k.a. "The World's Most Senior Regional Airline"), our benefits look something like this:
(1) PAID medical insurance for the employee (I think the deductable's around $100 - $200 a year). Spouses and kids are "extra". I think the cost for dependents is pretty typical in comparison to other types of businesses, but, since I'm single, I don't know the exact details. Our medical benefits include dental and vision plans.
(2) NO pension plan. (Most regionals don't have pension plans!).
(3) An EXCELLENT 401(k).
All of the benefits are effective immediately, except that you must wait 6 months to sign up for the 401(k), and it takes 5 years to get fully vested in the program (the company contributions kick in at 20% per year).
Given the average age of our more senior pilots, I predict that the issue of pension plans will be an important point in our next round of contract negotiations. Considering that many pension plans are underfunded (i.e., at several well-known major airlines), I'd almost prefer to stick with the 401(k).
If there's one thing I hate about our medical insurance, it's the vision plan - it stinks. I wear glasses, and I have to replace the lenses every 2 years or so - it amounts to about $500 annually. Our vision plan pays for the eye exam, but practically nothing for glasses or contacts.
All full-time SkyWest employees have the opportunity to select a health care plan from at least two options. All eligible employees may choose either a $500 comprehensive plan, or a national PPO plan regardless of where they live. Employees living in large metropolitan areas where an HMO is available, also have an opportunity to select an HMO plan. (I pay about $130 a month for the family plan HMO)
Dental insurance is available for all full-time employees. The dental coverage includes an extensive network of providers. Participating employees are not required to coordinate benefits through a primary care provider before receiving services. (I pay ~$16/month)
125 Flexible Spending Plan
The 125 Flexible Spending Plan provided by SkyWest offers employees two types of flexible spending accounts: a health care account and a dependent day care account. These accounts help employees to reduce their taxable income by setting a portion of their pay aside on a pre-tax basis for certain medical, dental, vision, or dependent care expenses.
The vision plan offered by SkyWest provides employees with discount eye care and a nationwide network of optometrists, opthamologists, and opticians as well as the nation's leading optical retailer, LensCrafters. The plan also offers discounts on LASIK and PRK procedures. (Was about $8/month for two-party plan- don't do it anymore because we had to pay the two-party plan when only my wife used it! It paid a box of contacts and an appointment.)
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Plan SkyWest offers a very competitive 401(k) plan to both full-time and part-time employees. The plan includes PRE TAX payroll deductions with an employer dollar for dollar match based on years of service. The plan, including any company contributions, is immediately 100% vested. Employees can choose to invest in more than 20 different funds and six lifestyle portfolios. All employees 18 years of age and older are eligible after 90 days of service. (I contribute 5% of which 2% is matched by the company- it goes up to 4% next year)
At the end of each year, SkyWest makes an additional contribution to the 401(k) plan that consists of 5% of the previous year's profits. This contribution consists 100% of company dollars contributed to the plan on behalf of the employees. This amount is a contribution to ALL employees who have had two years of service with SkyWest and eligible employees do not have to be currently making contributions to the 401(k) plan to receive their portion of the profit sharing. The profit sharing is IN ADDITION to the matching program that SkyWest provides for employees enrolled in the 401(k) plan.
The SkyWest Board of Directors authorizes the granting of Stock Options to employees on a discretionary basis. Eligibility requirements are based on years of service at SkyWest. The number of shares granted to employees is determined by a formula weighted on earnings and longevity. (I've been here 4 years and have 302 options exerciseable Feb. 2006)
423 Employee Stock Purchase Plan
The 423 Employee Stock Purchase Plan provides SkyWest employees with the opportunity to buy SkyWest, Inc. common stock through payroll deductions. SkyWest pays the fees on the purchase, and employees receive a 15% discount when the stock is purchased every six months. Full and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the plan beginning with the next purchase period following 90 days of employment.
529 Educational Savings Plan
SkyWest offers a program to assist employees in saving for educational costs for themselves, their children, or grandchildren. This flexible 529-college savings program allows employees to save through payroll deductions on an after-tax basis for college expenses.
Hmmm. . . I don't remember. I think it was not quite full price, but since you can't really change brands mid-stream we always got brand-name which was at the higher co-pay. I think it was like $25-30/month. My wife hasn't gotten any in about a year. We don't need them anymore, so I haven't paid attention!