Some employers struggle to provide basic health insurance. Not Google. Aside from free lunches, on-campus doctors, car washes, etc., Google is now providing death benefits to its employees. No, I’m not talking about life insurance. I’m talking about paying the spouse or partner of a Google  employee after the employee passes away.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock revealed since last year Google has been providing death benefits to its employees. The death benefits are three-fold. For any Google employee that passes away while still in employment of Google, Google will:
- Pay the spouse or “domestic partner” of the employee half the employee’s salary for ten years
- Immediately vest any stock benefits and give the stocks to the spouse or domestic partner
- Give any children of the employee $1,000 per month until the age of 19 or the age of 23 for full-time students
The best part? There are no tenure requirements to take advantage of these benefits meaning most, if not all, of Google’s 34,311 employees qualify. It should be mentioned, however, it isn’t entirely clear if these death benefits are for US Google employees only or all Google employees around the world. The above-mentioned Forbes article specifically mentions “U.S. Googler” but also references the 34k employees Google has worldwide so it could be either or. On the flip side, these death benefits appear to be only for Google employees; Motorola Mobility employees don’t count — not yet anyway.
Interestingly, as many commentators point out, the only major benefit for Google for adding this new perk is better employee retention and attracting new talent; other traditional employee benefits typically have better payoffs for companies, such as increased worker happiness and productivity. According to Bock, “obviously there’s no benefit to Google” for adding these new death perks but “it’s important to the company to help our families through this horrific if inevitable life event”.
Now, don’t you wish you worked at Google? Feel free to let us know in the comments  below.