September 2015

Q&A: The value of total compensation statements

Q: Why should we provide total compensation statements to our employees?

A: Benefits are a significant portion of an employee’s total compensation package—often 25 to 35 percent or more. However, many employees aren’t aware of the value of the benefits provided by their employer.
 
By providing total compensation statements to employees, districts can quantify the cost of their benefits package and communicate to employees their financial commitment to them. They also provide a way for employees to verify and validate their current pay and benefits information on an annual basis.
 
Some important items to share in a total compensation statement include:
  • Base salary
  • Stipends (degree, teaching area, extracurricular duties)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Other forms of insurance (e.g., long- and short-term disability)
  • Investment plans (e.g., 403(b))
  • TRS contributions
  • Start and end dates for the employee’s job assignment in the current school year
Additional paid or convenience benefits, such as tuition reimbursement, free admission to district events, or an Employee Assistance Plan, may also be included on the total compensation statement, along with contact information for staff members who can respond to questions.

Tips to get started

Once payroll records have been updated to reflect the current school year salary increase, HR and payroll staff can pull data from their records to prepare the statements. Some districts create statements using mail merge functions; others post the information in an employee portal or Intranet that requires a protected log-in. Depending on the method selected for distribution of the information, HR staff may need to collaborate with other district departments, such as Information Technology and Finance, to prepare the statements.
 
Districts may consider including a brief letter from the Superintendent or HR leader with the total compensation statements to explain compensation changes and thank employees for their contributions to the district.