Financial Data
Updated 30 Sep 2020

Benefits you can implement instead of offering a pension fund or medical aid scheme

Small business owners find it hard to compete with the employee benefits that bigger companies are able offer. But, here are some tangible, and intangible things you can do for your employees. 

Almo Lubowski, 05 January 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Don’t pay a bonus, offer a financial education workshop

Arrange a financial education workshop this year, regardless of whether you’re going to pay a bonus this year or not. The Financial Planning Institute of South Africa has developed a wonderful introductory programme called MyMoney 123. 

You can find out more about these educational events on This programme is presented pro-bono by members of the Institute and you will be given contact details of accredited members in your area. The workshop is useful if you are planning to pay a bonus, as it will help your employees make the right choices once receiving their money. 

Arrange a wellness day

Apart from financial wellness, something that could reap benefits for both employers and employees is general wellbeing; mental and/or physical. Offer a wellness day arranged by an accredited wellness company, mainly as an awareness occasion, and then perhaps later use it as a way for employees to stay fit and healthy. This could result in increased health and wellness, producing happier and more productive employees.

Related: Making incentive programmes work for everyone

Pay more but with conditions

It may be costly to implement traditional company retirement benefits but doing something in respect of the financial obligations that employees have, especially if it concerns their future retirement, is important.

Many asset management companies offer corporate retirement annuity options, which are no different to personal retirement annuities, except that they can facilitate a bulk payment from the employer. So, the next increase that is offered could be placed towards such a product instead on behalf of the employee. The options mentioned are flexible, allowing the employee to continue with the plan on their own if they leave the company, making them relatively desirable. 

Changes to the workplace make a big difference 

Workplace -environment -advice

Especially to millennials, medical aid benefits and pension benefits now pale in comparison to perks like catered meals, attraction tickets, and even fun workplace environments like the ones offered by Apple, Google and other companies known for innovation. While it might not be realistic to open a cafe in the office building, consider a break room with snacks and refreshments on offer or arranging a catered lunch once a month.

Related: 6 Top tips on how to retain employees and keep them happy

Flexible working hours instead of medical aid benefits

If you are unable to contribute towards medical aid benefits, offer your employees flexible working hours as it not only reduces stress and absenteeism but also improves morale and motivation. When employees have the freedom to balance work and home life, overall wellbeing improves too. A healthy wellbeing means less frequent illnesses and, therefore, less frequent doctor visits and medications to subdue the harmful effects stress from work can have on the body. 

Before paying bonuses this year, and while planning for next year, perhaps consider some of the options mentioned. Consider what is possible and within your budget to implement. It is evident that small businesses can do a number of things to stand out as employers. It really doesn’t need to be complicated and expensive.

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About the author

Almo Lubowski

Almo Lubowski, CFP read for his law degree (LLB) at the University of Pretoria. He subsequently qualified as an attorney and started practising law in Cape Town in 2003. In 2007 he read for his Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and subsequently became a CFP® professional. Almo has practised as an attorney, financial planner and fiduciary specialist in his career, mostly working for his own account. He is CEO of The Fortune Group that specialises in financial and legal advice for business owners. Contact Details: [email protected]

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