Is the Google Death Benefit the Best Employee Perk Yet?

A stunning employee perk was uncovered this week: the Google "death benefit." Laszlo Bock, the chief people officer at Google, revealed the benefit in a Forbes interview, and it's one that will perk up any family-oriented worker's ears.

Under the Google death benefit, when an employee dies, his or her Google stocks will vest immediately. The spouse -- or domestic partner, as they also quality for full benefits at Google -- will receive 50 percent of the deceased's salary for a full 10 years. That's not all: each child of the deceased employee will get $1,000 a month until they reach the age of 19. And if this child should be a full-time student, that top age extends to 23.

Every employee qualifies for the Google death benefit, from the firm's first hires to someone who walked on the job for the first time today. Why make such a comprehensive -- and expensive -- employee perk available?

"Obviously there's no benefit to Google," said Bock. "But it's important to the company to help our families through this horrific if inevitable life event."

Bock added that Google's focus is on helping its employees, which in turn pays dividends to the company: "There is, of course, research that show employee benefit programs like ours can improve retention, and appear to improve performance on some level."

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