How to Calculate Your Total Benefits Package


If you’re in the enviable position of having more than one job opportunity on the table then you may want to base your decision on who’s going to pay you the most. That’s a wise choice to make – but don’t make the mistake of simply comparing one salary against the other. Your total compensation should be made up of a package of different benefits, and it’s important that you take all aspects into account when considering your options.

Pension contributions

Growing your pension as much as possible while you’re still of working age is the best way to set yourself up for a good retirement. An employer who’s willing to make good contributions into your pension is effectively giving you free money. Consider the percentage that they pay in as default as well as whether they’re offering to match your contributions if you decide to pay more.

Some public service jobs still offer defined benefit pensions, which mean that you get paid a fixed amount every year once you reach retirement (usually dependent on your length of service and salary). These typically represent extremely good value, and offer a certain sense of security since you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get.

Paid time off

An extra day of holiday doesn’t put more money in your pocket, but it can be good for you in other ways. A good work life balance is important for avoiding burnout and excessive stress. And by offering extra days off, your employer is demonstrating their commitment to treating staff as real people with commitments and plans outside of the workplace. You might not want to make an extra day of holiday the deciding factor, but if a company is particularly generous then it could certainly tip the balance.

On the flip side, it’s also important to consider how much overtime you’ll be expected to work. A lot of jobs have the occasional late night or weekend work, but if you’re expected to be on call or work late hours every day then that will impact your work life balance and bring down your overall hourly rate.

General perks

Perks could be anything from private healthcare to an interest free loan to help you spread the cost of your train ticket. Consider whether these are things that you would usually spend money on. If so, calculate the amount that they would cost to get the monetary value of the perk. This can be added to the salary to give you a better idea of your total compensation package. Again, perks can also be a good indication of company culture. Businesses that offer great perks alongside a decent salary are showing that they value their workforce.

Shares and bonuses

Some businesses also offer their staff company shares or performance-based bonuses. These types of deal are designed to help give the employee a stake in the business, making sure that you’re invested in seeing it succeed and therefore motivating you to work hard. They can give a significant bump to your overall pay, so don’t discount them when considering offers.


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