An important way we embody our values is by serving and supporting our employees through programs that allow them to flourish and do their best. We offer a variety of benefits and perks that show our respect for our employees and their families.
Highlighted below are several benefits that are remarkable in our industry. Click here for a more detailed overview of the employee benefits program.
We believe it's important to offer all employees affordable health care benefits. For this reason, we have generous eligibility guidelines. Employees who work more than 20 hours per week are eligible for a variety of options for health care coverage through our Flex Plan. REI’s subsidy of health care benefits is larger for employee-only coverage and proportionately higher for our hourly employees.
PaTH Plan Health Care Coverage
Part-time employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week can enroll in health care coverage through the PaTH (Part Time Healthcare) program. PaTH is exceptional in the retail industry, as most retailers do not subsidize coverage for their part-time employees. REI pays 100 percent of life insurance coverage and 60 percent of the premium cost for employee-only medical coverage through PaTH. Optional dental coverage is also available.
More than 20 percent of eligible employees participate in PaTH medical coverage; the industry average for this type of plan is 10 percent. More than 1,000 employees were enrolled in PaTH at the close of 2011, up from 952 in 2010.
Flex Plan Health Care Coverage
Our Flex Plan has three medical plan options—each with different features and price points. One option is a high-deductible health plan that features a Health Savings Account with employer contributions.
Each Flex Plan option covers core services (like preventive care) for employees at no cost to them. We also cover up to 85 percent of the premium for employee-only medical and dental coverage, which is considerably higher than what most retailers offer. More than 5,000 employees were enrolled in our Flex Plan at the close of 2011.
In order to keep health benefits affordable for both our employees and REI, we’re implementing a sliding scale premium structure for employee contributions in 2012. The structure has four pay bands based on an employee's annual base pay. Employees in lower pay bands contribute less for health care coverage. More than 54 percent of REI's employees fall into the first pay band, with the first two pay bands covering more than 70 percent of our employees.
Good health and well-being are attributes everyone hopes to enjoy throughout their lifetime, but we know good health doesn't just happen. In 2011, we continued to evolve REI Health Quest, a confidential, points-based wellness incentive program that helps employees focus on their health.
All employees, regardless of status, can participate in this program. The cornerstone of the Health Quest program is self-awareness via an online well-being assessment. Employees who take this questionnaire receive a snapshot of their current well-being, health status and risks, as well as health tips and areas to focus on or improve.
When employees complete health engagement activities throughout the year, they accumulate wellness points. Once they reach a milestone level, they're rewarded with an REI gift card and at the highest level, a wellness day off. In 2011, we simplified tracking and the points system, and added new challenges.
In addition, we offer Flex Plan-eligible employees $300 that they can apply toward their benefit costs. In order to receive this discount, employees must:
To reduce our carbon footprint and decrease the number single-occupancy vehicles on the road, REI provides a 50 percent pre-tax subsidy on public transit expenses (including bus, train, vanpool, and ferry) up to the current IRS limit through payroll deduction. For employees with limited alternative commuting options, we also offer a pre-tax parking subsidy at locations that require paid parking. We have seen a 42 percent increase in the use of our commuter benefits in the past year.
Eligible employees share in the co-op’s financial success through our industry-leading REI Retirement and Profit Sharing Plan. This plan is made up of two parts:
In early 2012, REI funded more than $13 million in contributions based on the company’s performance in 2011. More than 5,500 employees received the guaranteed 5 percent company retirement contribution plus 2 percent in discretionary profit-sharing contributions. This amount far exceeds the retail industry norm of 3 percent.
All employees may contribute their own pay to the Retirement and Profit Sharing Plan. In 2012, we also allowed employees to defer up to 50 percent of their incentive payout into the plan.
Employees receive incentive awards based on how well the co-op performs and how each division or store performs. This benefit is offered to all employees, regardless of tenure or role. In early 2012, all eligible employees shared an incentive plan payout of nearly $15 million. In 2012, REI introduced a new employee incentive plan, the Summit Incentive Plan, which focuses solely on team and co-op performance.
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