Compensation & Benefits

Our company recognizes that our people are critical to our mission of improving and saving lives around the world.

Our valuable suite of compensation and benefits reflects our commitment to our employees. We provide competitive pay programs designed to attract, retain and motivate our talent while our best-in-class benefits programs support employees and their families in every stage of life.

Our approach

Our philosophy behind our compensation and benefits programs is rooted in maintaining our competitive position in the market while providing a comprehensive and valuable package of rewards to attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce while building a robust and supportive culture.


Our compensation programs are designed to recognize and reward employees for their accomplishments and the value they bring to the company.

The programs target different aspects of individual and company performance and are monitored to ensure that they are competitive with those of other companies—and appropriate for the markets in which we compete for talent.

Competitive base pay: Individual base pay based on job, market-aligned pay range, relevant experience, skill level, breadth of responsibility and proficiency.

Short-term incentives: Cash award programs to reward employees on the basis of company and/or individual performance versus objectives.

Long-term incentives: A future-oriented program that rewards the demonstration of individual performance, leadership and potential (based on defined skills and sustained performance) through stock-based incentives.

Programs and initiatives

Global recognition program

Our global recognition program, known to employees as INSPIRE, helps create a culture of acknowledgement and engagement by empowering employees to recognize others for their good work. Employees share simple thank-you messages for everyday contributions as well as points and cash rewards for significant achievements. Since its inception in 2017, employees have received recognition through more than one million recognition moments.


Our health and wellbeing, retirement and insurance programs draw from best practices to ensure quality, competitive value, protection from significant financial hardship and access to tools and resources to support employees and their family members in all life stages.

In the U.S., we generally offer health, life, disability and business travel insurance as well as retirement income benefits to all employees, including those who work part-time. Employees also can opt to contribute to tax-free Flexible Spending Accounts for reimbursement of certain health spending and/or dependent care costs.

Outside the U.S., while benefits may vary by region and country, we offer health, life and injury, disability and business travel insurance, along with retirement income benefits. Subject to local laws, in many countries, including the U.S., we extend health care and various insurance benefits to employees’ domestic partners and their partners’ eligible dependent children.

Health advocacy (U.S.)

Within the United States, our medical plan helps support our members with an advocacy solution, which is designed to help employees and their families navigate the health care and health insurance system. The program is designed to make employees’ lives easier by saving hours of effort, with activities such as:

  • Helping to resolve complicated medical and dental insurance claims
  • Finding doctors, providers and facilities
  • Scheduling appointments for physicians, treatments and tests
  • Securing expert second opinions
  • Connecting with fertility advocacy
  • Getting cost estimates for medical procedures
  • Assisting in the transfer of medical records
  • Researching and locating the latest treatments
  • Managing complex or chronic conditions with clinical experts

Financial benefits

Worldwide, our company offers retirement benefits that are competitive with those of our peers and the general industry in each market we serve.

In the U.S., for example, we offer a defined benefit pension plan as well as a 401(k) plan with company matching contributions. U.S.-based employees who are at least age 55, and those who have at least ten years of service after age 40,1 are eligible for subsidized medical benefits at retirement.

Outside the U.S., we have more than 80 pension plans (including defined benefit, cash balance, and defined contribution plans) in over 40 countries. These plans often supplement government-sponsored social security pension benefits to improve employees’ financial security through added retirement income.

Also in the U.S.:

  • Financial planning through Ernst & Young (EY), a valuable benefit that can help employees when trying to decide which benefit options are right for their families, from a financial perspective
  • Educational assistance, which provides financial support for higher education and access to student loan consolidation and refinancing options
  • Banking through our company’s credit union, which offers competitive interest rates on savings accounts and lending

Global flexible work arrangements

We believe flexible work arrangements offer a different way of working and have the potential to enhance employees’ commitment to the company, foster teamwork, increase productivity and support work-life effectiveness. The company has had a global flexible work arrangement policy since 2008.

In developing our global flexible work arrangement policy, we’ve challenged traditional assumptions about where and how work can and must be done. Flexibility reflects our belief that job effectiveness is determined by employee performance and results, not by the number of hours one is seen in the office. What is produced or accomplished is more important than when or where the work is done.

Employees and managers work together to assess the opportunities and challenges of a proposed arrangement. Managers are accountable for making final decisions aligned with business requirements, recognizing that some positions may not lend themselves to a flexible work arrangement.

Except for those subject to collective bargaining agreements, all regular full- or part-time employees are eligible to apply for a flexible work arrangement, which includes:

Part-time work
Employees’ workloads and hours are reduced to less than the standard workweek requirements, along with benefits and compensation are reduced accordingly

Job sharing
Two employees on reduced schedules and workloads share the overlapping responsibilities of one full-time position; benefits and compensation are reduced accordingly

Employees with full-time job responsibilities modify the start time and end time of a standard day while being present for departmentally established “core hours” (hours of mandatory attendance), if any

Compressed workweeks
Employees compress full-time job responsibilities into fewer than five days per week or ten days per two weeks

Employees fulfill full-time job responsibilities up to several days a week at sites other than their primary location—usually their home or a satellite office

Remote work
Employees fulfill full-time job responsibilities working primarily as home-based or mobile employees, with limited presence in a regular company facility

Summer hours
The Summer Hours program offers U.S. employees an additional resource in our flexible work schedule portfolio. Specifically, eligible employees are able to work nine-hour days Monday through Thursday, and the final four hours on Friday.

Other options, including hybrid arrangements, seasonal work and project-based approaches, may also make business sense. Employees and managers are encouraged to consider and pilot other alternatives.

Time off and leave policies

For U.S.-based employees not subject to a collective bargaining agreement, we offer paid time off, leaves of absence and other benefits to help employees manage work-life issues. For U.S.-based employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement, time off and leave benefits are offered in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. For employees outside the U.S., time off and leave benefits are based on local laws and market practices. Examples of leave include:

Parental leave
We provide employees up to six weeks of paid parental time off for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. Paid parental time off is available to both birth and non-birth parents.

Childcare leave
In addition to parental leave, employees receive separate, unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a newborn child, adopted child or child placed in foster care within six months (182 days) following the child’s birth, adoption or foster-care placement

Disability management/disability accommodations

The Disability Leave team and our Global Employee Health group work with external vendors in the U.S. to develop and implement short- and long-term disability management and return-to-work policies and programs. Optimizing the health and productivity of our employees is a key goal of these efforts. Our centralized Workplace EnABLEment program in the U.S. ensures that employees with apparent and non-apparent disabilities are able to be accommodated, where feasible, to enable them to work to their full potential.

Vacation, holiday and year-end shutdown

We provide employees with ten fixed holidays, four year-end shutdown days and a set number of paid vacation days to use throughout the year based on years of service, or on work experience for new hires.

Work-life benefits

Our company offers many programs to help make it easier for employees to balance their various responsibilities. The following is a non-exhaustive sampling (U.S.).

Transportation services

Free commuter/shuttle services from specific locations near our headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey, U.S., and other locations enable employees to save on transportation costs and commute time while reducing their carbon footprint. Transit and parking reimbursements are also available at various locations.

Backup dependent care

Temporary child and adult backup dependent care services are available to employees when their regular care arrangements are unavailable. Employees are eligible for ten days’ usage per dependent per year for a nominal out-of-pocket fee. Employees can also take advantage of significant online resources.

Breastmilk shipping

We provide overnight refrigerated storage and shipping services to breastfeeding employees that are required to travel for work.

Childcare support

Our company offers several onsite or near-site childcare centers that enable employees to be close to their children during the workday. Recognizing not all employees work at a site with a company-sponsored childcare facility, we have made arrangements with several national childcare providers to offer discounts to employees on their eligible regular tuition.

K–12 educational guidance

Educational counseling is available for dependent children ranging from kindergarten to grade 12 that offers a comprehensive menu of education topics and helps employees manage their professional and family responsibilities through live webinars, online support and personalized counseling. The program helps employees and their families reach their academic goals—reducing stress and keeping employees content and productive, both at home and at work.

Special needs

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Program is for employees and their children as they plan for and navigate school and college options for students with diagnosed ASD and related conditions. Once qualified, employees can receive personalized counseling and participation in one live webinar.

Adoption/surrogacy assistance

The adoption/surrogacy assistance program provides up to $25,000 per child for eligible adoption/surrogacy expenses.

For U.S.-based employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement, work-life benefits may be offered in accordance with the agreement. For employees based outside the U.S., the work-life benefits offered differ by location and may be subject to a collective bargaining agreement or local legal requirements.

1For certain employees, service before 40 also counts.

Performance data

Employees and compensation20152016201720182019
Total compensation paid to employees/payroll, including benefits (in billions)$7.50$7.77$8.65$8.98$9.56