Where you needn't work full-time to get a 401(k) or insurance
By Clair Jones
More and more people want to work part-time in retirement to bring in income and to remain engaged. Problem is, many part-time jobs don't come with benefits. But that's not true at all companies.
Below are five national employers that offer part-time workers competitive starting pay, health insurance, employer-matched retirement benefits, product discounts and industry perks. The health insurance coverage could be an especially desirable benefit until Medicare kicks in at age 65.
The ubiquitous coffee chain offers an impressive package of health benefits and incentives that makes part-time employees who meet certain qualifications feel like stakeholders in the business, just as full-timers do.
After you put in 240 hours over three consecutive months (the equivalent of four hours a day, five days a week, for example), when you work at least 20 hours a week, you're eligible for full benefits, including health, dental, vision, life insurance, disability and a 401(k) match.
And you don't need to be a twentysomething to get a part-time job here. We "recruit and hire partners without regard to age," says Laurel Harper, a Starucks corporate representative.
Part-timers who meet the preceding qualifications can contribute 1 to 75 percent of their pay to the Starbucks 401(k), with an annual limit of $23,000 for people 50 or older. Starbucks matches 100 percent on the first 4 percent of pay and all contributions have immediate vesting.
Starbucks funds about 70 percent of health-premium costs for employees and covers 100 percent of preventive care services. Policies cover a wide range of non-traditional treatments, including acupuncture, chiropractic care and homeopathic care options. There's also mental health support and an emergency assistance fund that helps cover expenses after a natural disaster or a family crisis.
Starbucks also lets employees buy company stock at a 5 percent discount through payroll deductions and provides a 30 percent in-store discount as well as a weekly pound of free coffee or tea.
You can find more details about Starbucks benefits here.
> Find a job at Starbucks
Susan Rosenberg, UPS Public Relations Director, says her company employs "many retirees who are looking for the next chapter and seek reduced hours that have benefits." The primary part-time positions, she notes, are for package handlers who load, unload or sort within the operations.
"Age isn't really an issue; its ability and desire to do the job," says Rosenberg.
Part-time UPS employees must work only 15 hours a week to be eligible for health benefits. Coverage begins on the first day of the first full pay period following 30 days of employment and includes health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as a discounted prescription drug program.
And if you'd like to take college classes when you're not working at UPS part-time, the company offers $5,250 in annual tuition assistance, up to $25,000 during employment there.
The company also has eldercare spending accounts to help reduce your caregiving costs and lets qualifying part-timers buy UPS stock at a discount.
Look here for a detailed description of UPS benefits and eligibility requirements.
> Find a job at UPS
If you enjoy the great outdoors, REI - the outdoor recreation gear, sporting good and clothing giant - might be a good place for your part-time work in retirement.
The company subsidizes up to 96 percent of insurance premiums for employees who work 20 hours or more a week, pays the full cost of basic life and disability insurance and offers vision and dental insurance.
REI also lets part-timers contribute up to 75 percent of pay to the company's 401(k), with a match that starts at 3 percent and increases 1 percent per year of employment; maximum employer match: 10 percent. (You need to be in the plan for at least five years to keep the employer match money.) The annual employee contribution amount for people 50 and older tops out at $22,500.
If you're a nature-lover, REI's 50 percent discount on gear may be motivation enough to work part-time for the company.
Another perk: REI offers a 50 percent, pre-tax subsidy for commuting on public transportation.
Look here for a detailed description of REI benefits and eligibility requirements.
Whole Foods Market
The popular grocery chain Whole Foods "welcomes people seeking part-time employment," says Michael Silverman of the company's public relations department.
If you work there 20 hours a week or more, after 800 hours (that's 10 months of 20 hours a week) you can get health insurance for $0 to $15 a month - the actual cost of your premiums depends on how long you've worked at Whole Foods. Part-timers are also eligible for dental, vision, life insurance and paid time off.
And you can get up to $1,800 a year to help cover the cost of deductibles and other qualified out-of-pocket health care expenses not covered by insurance through a Whole Foods Personal Wellness Account or Health Savings Account.
As a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article noted, the Whole Foods 401(k) isn't especially generous, though. The maximum company match is just $152 a year and you need to work there a year to receive any match.
Part-timers also get a 20 percent discount on most in-store purchases and the company shares its wealth through stock options (for part-timers who've worked the equivalent of three years full-time) and a "gainsharing" program that rewards teams based on performance.
Look here for a detailed description of Whole Foods benefits and eligibility requirements.
> Find a job at Whole Foods
The Container Store
Next Avenue recently republished an article by Café.com's Deborah Copaken about getting rejected for a job at The Container Store at 48. But the chain's spokeswoman Casey Shilling says her company is "always looking for great employees of any age, career background and life experience that can make connections with our time-starved customers and who are eager to be part of a team that delivers exceptional customer service."
The Container Store provides part-time employees with medical, dental, life and vision insurance, as well as short-and long-term disability insurance. (Life insurance coverage is extended to domestic partners and common-law spouses). The company offers discounted pet insurance, too.
Employees are eligible to participate in The Container Store's 401(k) plan after working there 11 months and can contribute between 1 and 80 percent of gross pay. There's a 4 percent employer match.
You can also get a 40 percent discount on merchandise and 30 percent off installation fees.
Look here for a detailed description of Container Store benefits and eligibility requirements.
> Find a job at the Container Store