Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fringe Benefits To Consider When Shopping For A New Job

For a variety of reasons, I am not going to discuss investing in any great detail on the blog.  It's risky to say the least.  There are a variety of respected publications and other news sources that are better for that.  I won't say which ones are better than others, I will leave that to you to determine as well.  I subscribe to three magazines to get a fairly balanced view of personal finance.  A bonus tip: don't pay cover price for magazines.  Many third party web sites exist that sell all of your favorite magazines at rock bottom  prices, and will even show up on a price search engine web site.  You can pay for magazine subscriptions with frequent flyer miles, too. 

With that said, I came across an article in a major monthly publication today discussing how one can research how their 401k plan is rated against other company's.  With a site called BrightScope, you can see how well your plan fares against other company's offerings.  Now, you may not pay too much attention to your 401k plan's details, but not all plans are a like as this site will show you.  For starters, investment options, fees, vesting periods, and restrictions on when you can invest all vary.  Many other tools/features exist, too, that aren't standard in every plan.

If you are in the market for a new job and you are lucky enough to have multiple offers, you might consider researching how the new company's plan fares against another company's offerings.  While it may not be enough to sway you, it could be used to help gauge how much of a salary you should ask for.  For example, if Company A's 401k matching plan is weaker than Company B's, you may want to ask Company A for more money if you like them better. 

Visit BrightScope and see how your company is rated on a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the best.  If your company isn't listed, you can submit documents to have it added.  There will be more additions down the road to the current list, so you may just want to wait a while, too.