Benefits, in the context of compensation, I define as monetary fillips for an employee, as distinct from entitlements and perquisites, which cannot be converted to money or save money but do cost the company.
By that definition, benefits include employer matching contributions to 401K plans, other kinds of supplemental pension plans, tuition reimbursement, car or mass transit allowances, payments for medical and insurance premiums, subsidized day care, low-cost cafeterias, and relocation assistance (See my posts of Jan. 10, 2006: no benefits paid to temporary staff; May 1, 2005: tuition reimbursement; and April 8, 2007: ex pat benefits.).
Non-cash entitlements include free parking, fitness centers, access to executive dining rooms, and other employee largess (See my posts of Feb. 28, 2006: perquisites of becoming a corporate officer; and Dec. 6, 2006: richer benefits as reason why larger departments might attract better lawyers.).
I have long heard that for full-time employees a typical benefits load is around a quarter of salary and cash bonus (See my posts of Jan. 30, 2008: assumes a benefits load of 30% of salary plus cash bonus; Nov. 21, 2005: online source of data on benefits for in-house lawyers; and Sept. 25, 2006: my remark on “a typical 25-to-30 percent benefits load.”).
Benefits apparently have modest allure to in-house attorneys, relative to other attractions of working in a law department (See my posts of April 12, 2006 and April 13, 2006 and May 24, 2007: ratings on attractiveness of benefits packages; and May 11, 2008: morale boosters and destroyers.). Perhaps general counsel do not adequately explain the total value of corporate benefits (See my post of Feb. 28, 2006: advantages of spelling out total compensation package, including benefits.).