Life after work. Going the extra mile to help employees prepare and plan for retirement


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This is a draft excerpt from the upcoming book, What’s Your Green Goldfish? Beyond Dollars: 15 Ways to Create Employee Loyalty and Reinforce Culture:


whats your green goldfish book cover1st inchOnboarding

2nd inchFood & Beverage, Shelter / Space, Transparency / Openness

3rd inchWellness, Time Away, Modern Family


4th inchRecognition

5th inchTeam Building

6th inchFlexibility


7th inchTraining & Development

The seventh INCH continued

The seventh inch on the 9 INCH journey to the heart of your employees also involves Retirement. Let’s look at a handful of companies that go the extra mile to prepare and take care of employees for life after work:

Google and the Afterlife

Taken from a post by Meghan Casserly in Forbes. In Meghan’s words:

Google and afterlife benefits

In a rare interview with Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock I discovered that the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife. “This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google (#41), “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.” We were scheduled for a talk on Google’s widening age-gap (the oldest Googler is currently 83); I wanted to know how child- and healthcare benefits have evolved as the company has scaled.

Instead, Bock, who joined the company in 2006 after a stint with General Electric, blew me away by disclosing a never-before-made-public-perk: Should a U.S. Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade. Even more surprising, a Google spokesperson confirms that there’s “no tenure requirement” for this benefit, meaning most of their 34,000 Google employees qualify.

“But it turns out that the reason we’re doing these things for employees is not because it’s important to the business, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. When it comes down to it, it’s better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn’t. And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care.” (Source:

Big Contributions

Devon Energy (#206) is an oil and gas explorer and producer. They have developed a new 401(k) retirement plan which calls for annual company contributions of a whopping 11% to 22%.

GSM (#255), an IT consultancy in Leesburg, VA has big perks, including five weeks of vacation, a 401(k) contribution of 15 percent of salary, fully paid health-care premiums, $1,200 toward the creation of a will, $5,000 a year to attend training or conferences, $720 toward Internet access, and $1,750 toward the purchase of a gadget–although employees are given all the technology they need for their jobs. (Source: Washingtonian Magazine)

Planning, Phasing and Preparing

TD Bank (#449) helps employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance. The program includes a defined benefit pension plan, matching contributions to a share purchase plan, and a health benefits plan that extends into retirement with no age limit. (Source:

DIALOG (#468) is a multidisciplinary firm comprised of architects, engineers, interior designers, urban designers and planners. The firm helps older workers prepare for retirement with contributions to a matching RSP plan and phased-in work options that allow employees to gradually leave the workforce

The University of Toronto (#493) offers a phased-in retirement work options for those nearing the end of their careers. They also help employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning assistance services along with generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan. (Source:

British Columbia Safety Authority (#630) provides phased-in work options that allow employees to gradually leave the workforce and health benefit coverage that extends to retirees.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Speaking of retirement, here’s an inspirational speech from Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens:

All of the examples in this post were taken from the Green Goldfish Project. The Project is a quest to find 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. Green goldfish are the little signature extras given to employees. They help differentiate a company, reinforce culture, increase retention and drive positive WoM. The book, “What’s Your Green Goldfish?” will be published on March 29, 2013.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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