Here are the top 3 benefits I suggest you review:
- Perks + (previously the Stay Fit program) – This year you can still take advantage of the $800 Stay Fit reimbursement for health and wellness expenses such as gym memberships, exercise equipment, and sports equipment. In 2021, your new Perks+ benefit will increase your old Stay Fit benefit by 50% to $1,200! This new benefit offers a broader range of reimbursement options to include student loan payments, pet care, hobbies, and more. And for those of you wondering – PRO Club is still an option but a few of the other gym memberships have been discontinued. It is important that you actively select your Perks+ option at enrollment.
- 401(k) Plans – 2020 Employee deferrals stay the same for 2021 at $19,500, but those over the age of 50 will see their catch-up contribution limits increase by $500 to $6,500. With the IRS maximum contribution limits for 401(k) plans to increase to $58,000, this means the Microsoft Mega Backdoor Roth 401(k) strategy is better than ever. Review my previous article explaining the mechanics and why it is one of the best retirement planning strategies for highly compensated Microsoft employees.
- Medical Plans – A few highlights worth noting:
- Microsoft has increased it’s Mental Health and Chemical Dependency coverage for out-of-network providers from 70% to 90% of allowed charges for both outpatient and inpatient care for all Premera Plans.
- The new Premera maternity bundle for individuals expecting a child will pay only a single $500 copay for routine maternity care, including professional prenatal and delivery care, regardless of delivery method.
- Dental Plus Plan has increased the orthodontic lifetime maximum coverage from $2,000 to $2,500.
Take Action Now
Open enrollment closes on November 20, so act fast – review your benefits here! If you have questions on the 401(k) plan, how to best manage your compensation (base, bonus, deferred compensation, and ESPP shares), Life and Disability insurance options, or want to explore working with an experienced Financial Advisor, click here to schedule a free 15-minute chat when it is most convenient for you.
James Nevers,CFP® is a Senior Advisor at Soundmark Wealth Management, LLC. James works closely with physicians, business owners, directors and executives at Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing, and other successful individuals to help them define their financial goals and implement an ongoing financial planning process.