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Jc Penny Compensation and Benefits Research Paper

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JC Penny’s Compensation and Benefits Programs


Michelle Bowman


Kevin Pratt

MGMT-365D Compensation and Benefits Systems

October 4, 2016


JCPenny’s Compensation and Benefits

        JC Penny’s was founded by James Cash Penny in 1902. They sell a variety of items, from fashion apparels, furniture, appliances, home décor, Sephora beauty supplies, a portrait studio, salon, and many more products in-store and online at To get these products and services to customers they employ over 100,000 associates in over 1000 stores in 49 US states and Puerto Rico (jcpenny/

JC Penny offers financial benefits, personal benefits, and health benefits or access to it. Some benefits consist of specialized insurance benefits, personal protection insurance, company travel insurance, defined, and defined contribution benefits. In addition, they provide access to healthcare, various life insurance packages, legal services, and several other perks that are exclusive to JC Penny associates.  However, corporate employees have more access to discretionary benefits that in-store associates.  JC Penny also creatively designed an employee benefit information website, known as  It allows employees to view their benefits, available benefits, enroll in programs, view documents, request time off, and other various information. They also provide competitive pay for in-store associates and corporate employees. JC Penny’s mission is to deliver the best brands, products, and services by employing the best team in retail. In order to employee the best team, JC penny must be able to attract and retain the best team through strong compensation and benefits programs (jcpenny/


Financial benefits are benefits that allows associates to secure their financial future for retirement. JC Penny takes advantage of tax benefits by providing defined benefits and defined contribution benefits. Defined benefits options is a fixed rate contribution, whereas JCP pays 2% of the associates annual pay. To qualify for this type of retirement plan associates has to work for the company at 12 months, worked at least 1000 hours, and be a least 21 years of age. Once the associates have stayed with the company 3 years they become owners of the full retirement plan. Meaning if they depart of the company they can transport 100% of the funds (JCPenny’s 2013 benefits guide).

 Defined contribution benefits offered to associates are before tax 401k plans and recently added after tax Roth 401k plans. Associates can begin to contribute immedialy after the being hired. However, JCP will not contribute any funds until they reach the same qualifications as defined benefits plan; 12 months of employment, 1000 hours works, and 21 years of age. Once qualifications are met, JCP will automatically enroll associates at a 4% contribution of their pay form each pay period. They do have the option to change their contribution percentage rate. Depending on their annual income of $115,000 or less associates can contribute up to 50% of their income, but if their income is more than that they are limited to only an 8% contribution rate. JCP will then match up to 6% each pay period. In addition, they will also contribute .50 cents to the plan. For example, the associates contribute 3% of the pay to the 401k plan, then JCP will match that with 3% plus the .50 cents bonus or if 8% is contributed then JCP will contribute only 6% plus the .50 cent bonus. As with defined benefits they become fully vested after 3 years (JCPenny’s 2013 benefits guide).  Roth 401k plans are a new feature. It is much like the original 401k, except the contributions are made after tax. This


option allows the associates to pay tax now rather than in the future (JCPenny’s benefits 2016 annual enrollment). JCP offered this to give associates more freedom to choose what works best for them.

Health benefits provided coverage cost of a variety of services that promote sound physical and mental health (Martocchio 226). JCP offers specialized benefits, such as dental and vision plans. The dental plans are provided by Athena.  There are three plans to choose from dental basics, dental plus, and DMO. Preventive care is 100% covered and 70% to 80% of other dental services, such as fillings are coved by JCP. The vision care is provided by Eye Med Vision Care. Associates can use an in-network provider at a lower cost or an out of network provider for a higher cost (JCPenny’s benefits 2016 annual enrollment).  However, according to the JC Penny benefits 2016 enrollment guide, JCP no longer provides health insurance in their core package. Instead associates are directed to the federal website. Associates can follow a link on the powerline website to If employees have any trouble they can utilize the company provided advocacy service to help with any benefits issues.  

         JCP also provides associates paid life insurance through MetLife, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and through Aflac accidental insurance, critical illness insurance, and hospitalization insurance. JCP also offers fully covered legal services through the Hyatt Group legal plan, whereas they can provide associates with estate planning, identity theft abuse. In addition, automatically provided to associates when hires are business travel accident insurance, whereas associates are covered if they are injured while traveling for the job. All of these benefits are offered to full-time associates who work 35 hours or more a week.



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