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What Happens To Google Employees When They Die?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the water-returns-to-the-seitch dept.

Businesses 170

Hugh Pickens writes "Forbes Magazine reports that employee benefits of Google are among the best in the land—free haircuts, gourmet food, on-site doctors and high-tech "cleansing" toilets are among the most talked-about but the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife. 'This might sound ridiculous,' says Google's Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock, 'But we've announced death benefits at Google.' 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 thousand Google employees qualify."

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It's called insurance, right? (4, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963781)

My company offers insurance benefits too, but they don't pay all of the cost.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963839)

That's what I was thinking too. Most of the companies I have worked for offer some form of death and dismemberment insurance. If I lost a finger, $10,000. An arm, $50,000. If I died, that was $1,000,000 to my beneficiary.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964825)

Hmm, if that insurance is Accidental Death and Dismemberment (ADD) then you should probably get some real insurance. Accidental death generally doesn't cover death from natural causes. So, if you die as the result of the coffee maker in the break room exploding and blowing off your head, you are covered. If you go swimming in polluted water, develop a horrible disease, and eventually die then you aren't covered. You want "life insurance" as well as the ADD insurance.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

sabri (584428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965679)

Hmm, if that insurance is Accidental Death and Dismemberment (ADD) then you should probably get some real insurance. Accidental death generally doesn't cover death from natural causes. So, if you die as the result of the coffee maker in the break room exploding and blowing off your head, you are covered. If you go swimming in polluted water, develop a horrible disease, and eventually die then you aren't covered. You want "life insurance" as well as the ADD insurance.

Which is exactly what my employer does as well. I have ADD insurance + life insurance, where the life insurance pays between 2 and 6 times my yearly salary (I can exchange between benefits). There are no exclusions with regards to the life insurance. I elected for the maximum, 6 times my yearly salary so I can proudly say that my death benefits are better than that of a Google employee :-)

Re:It's called insurance, right? (5, Insightful)

vandelais (164490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963933)

No, it's worse than insurance. The company pays, so it's taxable to the recipient.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965329)

How did I know that someone would be here hating on Google even for this.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (2)

edumacator (910819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965515)

Let me get this straight. This is worse than insurance because you have to pay taxes on it right?

So you only get a large portion of the generous benefit that is rarely offered by other employers.

Those bastards.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (4, Interesting)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964007)

I worked for a time for a multinational company that offered free health insurance. The company was so cash-rich that they self-insured for that coverage, with an umbrella policy for outside insurance for catastrophic (major medical) coverage. The other nations that they had a corporate presence in had socialized medicine (Canada & Britain), and they wanted all their employees to share similar benefits. It made it rather simple accounting-wise to shift employees from one country to another for short & longish term projects. I rather doubt that they have the same benefit package today - that was nearly 20 years ago, and in the USA medical costs have skyrocketed by over 1,000 percent. Self-insurance saved this company a lot of money.

This is basically what Google is doing with term life insurance, except that the $20 per month they charge sounds rather stingy in comparison, actuarially speaking, considering the average age of Google's employees.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964211)

That's what's strange about this announcement to me... I've worked at the same place for 13 years now, and the benefits - retirements, health care, vacation time - have all gone steadily in one direction: down, down, down. Please, god, does this mean we've reached the low ebb of the benefit-slashing trend?

Re:It's called insurance, right? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964313)

Please, god, does this mean we've reached the low ebb of the benefit-slashing trend?

Of course not silly.

"Remember, when things are looking as dark as possible, they usually get considerably worse"

(RAH paraphrased)

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964873)

No, this means if you are smart enough to not live in the US, or are lucky enough to work at one of the few competitive industries in the US you can still get reasonable benefits.

Everyone else is being treated as parasite on the system and will need to see their pay and benefits reduced accordingly until the only competitive businesses revolve around extremely profitable high tech industries and/or the exploitation of slave labour where you are now competing for a job by offering to lower your salary to that of a Chinese factory worker, then an indian factory worker, then a nigerian, then a citizen of the congo.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965089)

It means google is competing in the most intense job market in the world (silicon valley), where benefits and pay are both on a steady upward spiral that has most of the people in the area earning 4 times the national average (~160K vs ~40k). They are boosting both to keep employees from defecting to startups or competitors. And so are the startups and competitors.

Re:It's called insurance, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965617)

This is in addition to life insurance (which is also provided for free).

Re:It's called insurance, right? (1)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965665)

I'v never heard of life insurance that pays out for a decade. My company life insurance is a one time payment of twice my salary, or four years of the google death benefit which seems more like a pension than insurance to me.

mere life insurance (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963783)

This is mere marketroid speak for life insurance.
My company, in the finanacial sector, subsidizes almost-free life insurance (~$20/month) that pays out 5x my salary - which is more or less 50% over tens years.
Had they need of attracting talent, they could swallow that lously $20 and just market it as FREE MONEY.

Re:mere life insurance (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963985)

That was my thought too. Its a free life insurance policy. A nice gesture, but not something magical.

Re:mere life insurance (1)

oscarwumpus (1637213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964615)

"This is mere marketroid speak for life insurance." So like Snagglepuss would say: Heavens to marketroid...it's life insurance, even. (?)

Re:mere life insurance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965645)

Google also has a life insurance policy that's provided for free. This is in addition to that.

In Other News... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963789)

Rise of unexplained deaths skyrocket inside the Googleplex.

Term Life Insurance (2)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963793)

That's subsidized by the company. Is this really news? It's also not what most financial advisors tell you to get from full coverage if you purchase your own, either. Standard is 10 years of full salary - a Googler can always purchase more to make up the difference.

Re:Term Life Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963975)

Standard is 10 years full salary?

Apparently all of the software world jobs I've held are extremely subpar. The best one I was ever at was 1.5x salary base, and I could purchase 10k increments for a small fee. My current job is a fixed number (50k), with the option of buying more.

Also, financial advisers never tell people to buy term life, as it isn't an "investment". Whole life baby, we promise it isn't a scam.

Re:Term Life Insurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964047)

The standard death benefit in the US is 2 years salary. You can increase this to 10 years with evidence of insurability. The additional benefit payable to your spouse (50% of monthly salary paid every month for 10 years) is automatic.

Re:Term Life Insurance (5, Funny)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964247)

It is a big deal because it says 'Google' on it. I tried writing 'Google' on my garbage and people lined up to get a beta invitation.

Re:Term Life Insurance (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964345)

Actually they were identity thieves looking for something with your. SSN or other personal info to rip you off.

Sort of normal here in EU... (3, Funny)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963797)

and it's part of social security here (of course you get to pay a couple EURs a month for the privilege). But I guess this over-the-top socialist expropriation of financial assets doesn't resonate with the you folks across the ocean... but it does qualify for a good bullet point in the "benefits" employment contract section. Yep, us european are decadent spoilt brats... :P

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963895)

That money has to come from somewhere, jackass. Good for you - your neighbors get to take care of your shitty wife and your stupid kids after you die. Proud of yourself?

I prefer this system. If you are valuable, your company is more likely to take care of you (health care, death benefits, etc). If you're unemployed or generally useless (or less useful), you have less health care and death benefits. If you're the president, you have the greatest. If you're the CEO of a company, you have excellent options in both. If you're a top notch employee, you probably have pretty good stuff, too. If you're an average professional, you probably have decent death benefits and health insurance. If you flip burgers, you probably have the bottom of the barrel. If you sell oranges by the side of the free-way or work part time in a 7-11, you get jack shit.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964063)

Yes, because people who flip burgers or sell oranges at the side of the road deserve worse health care and no safety net for their family. Maybe it's never occurred to you, but CEO's aren't more "useful" as a person than someone who flips burgers, or drives a taxi, or works part time at the 7-11. You're the jackass.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964585)

They really aren't valuable at all to society. Literally 1000 people are ready to step in and take their place

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965145)

psychopath

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964115)

Why should he not be proud? He has made the same promise to them, if they die he will contribute to the welfare of their husband or wife that is the deal they have made as a country, that is democracy what the people have decided.

Your system is only fair if life itself is already fair, IT IS NOT. Any system based on the assumption that people automatically get more if they are more talented and work harder is not only wrong but unjust and childish. There is a correlation but it is not exact, luck, privilege, crime, injury, and illness among others all play their part in ensuring this.

The question is not whether the system is perfect or fair but whether it is better and less unfair than the alternatives, how many good people on hard times will you let die to line your own pocket and keep the lazy from getting your support? How many lazy ass-holes is it worth supporting in order to support those who deserve it and how do we minimize the first without also minimizing the second?

If you want to argue that no support is more just than support payment in taxes then you need to understand the cost and justify it. Until you have an answer for the cost in dead children, dead hard working but unlucky adults, and starving grannies, as well as the wasted potential of those thousands who could have been more but were not allowed to be, AND a justification to match you should go argue somewhere with a more stupid audience.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964125)

your neighbors get to take care

That's what we call society over here, people looking after each other, not just caring only for themself. You should try it sometime.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965623)

So in your world, if that burger-flipper is useless, he can die and his family can go get fucked... leaving the innocent children with lives of hardship, instead of lives where they can be children and do what children do: play and learn. So they don't get as much education as that Googler's children, so they can't get well-paying jobs, and the cycle continues...

Might as well make it a proper caste system.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963899)

But I guess this over-the-top socialist expropriation of financial assets doesn't resonate with the you folks across the ocean...

Troll much? Seriously, I've always wondered why Euros feel the need to walk into a thread like this and spout off.

Yes, we have problems here, yes, you have problems there too (like how to pay for said social safety net(s)).

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

meddle99 (1946010) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964009)

and it's part of social security here (of course you get to pay a couple EURs a month for the privilege). But I guess this over-the-top socialist expropriation of financial assets doesn't resonate with the you folks across the ocean... but it does qualify for a good bullet point in the "benefits" employment contract section. Yep, us european are decadent spoilt brats... :P

How much is a "couple euro" to you? My German brother-in-law pays almost twice as much for the "privilege" than I pay for my medical and life insurance combined. I have no co-pay when I go to the doctor while his is 20 Euro. My widowed mother-in-law's retirement check has decreased four years in a row and prices have increased. Decadent indeed.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964827)

It's definitely not normal here in Portugal. In fact, it's unheard of.

Re:Sort of normal here in EU... (1)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964957)

This is also something more or less normal here in Switzerland, the exact % being heavily influenced by your number of kids and their age.

What about after that decade? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963803)

Don't most big companies offer a retirement package that give money out for the life of the spouse?
Sure it will not kick in as quickly as this or offer 50% unless you have paid into it for a long time, but a decade is far to short.

Re:What about after that decade? (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963813)

This is life insurance. I assume Google also offers a retirement package, but that's different.

Most Americans leave barey enough to be buried. (3, Interesting)

charnov (183495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964267)

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/end-of-life-financial-study-0803.html [mit.edu]

Most Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets. Typical life insurance pays less than $250,000 and hardly anything outside of government employees get pensions anymore. Even then, pensions aren't safe as several have been wiped out due to the 2008 stock market crash or through bankruptcy. 401k personal retirement funds are the norm or most people and they have tax benefits along with 25% - 100% matching funds from your employer but more and more people either cannot afford to pay into them or are actively borrowing against them. After 2 years of unemployment, my 401k is empty.

I am 40, employed with a very shaky job at $35k less than I was making before and no retirement, no health care, and am racking up debt to pay for more college as I try to get a masters degree to be more employable. My plan is to GTFO of the US and go some place where quality of life is the focus and not on corporate profits... Mars, maybe?

GTFO, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964997)

and move where quality of life is the focus. Will the benefits you are counting on be there? Look at the wealthy countries that have promised their folks health benefits and retirement. Look how many can't pay as the result of the demographics. Politicians promise and leave it to others down the line to deliver on those promises that could never be paid for. Work for a competitive company in a competitive country and you have a chance, lacking either I don't like your chances.

I just got out of the walmart grocery line a half hour ago. It went slowly as a family ahead of me had to find 5 different means of payment for their simple grocery order. Food stamp debt cards, cash, debit cards. Where I swiped one card and didn't even think of the cost.

Yet I get all sorts of tax benefits including medicare and a tax shelter on my 401k that was 10x what most others in my company had when I retired (both because I made more and because I saved lots more because I could). Yet when I look at my taxes, I get tax subsidies worth probably what their income is from 2 jobs. And the government borrows money to fund this Ponzi scheme so I can increase my net worth, even though I don't spend a dime more. Yet even I make 2% of what a certain Presidential Candidate makes and pay the same rate. Which says his subsidies must be enormous. And we borrow to pay for his offshore accounts.

I'm one of those odd folk who say tax me, I can afford it and I've benefited disproportionately from the system (and worked darn hard for 45 years and lived in the same house for over 30 and married once and never refinanced and saved 30% of my salary even when I was paying off the mortgage. So I live in retirement at the same level as I did while working. Lesson: save.).

I didn't work for the government but my wife did and we pay for the govt health insurance and always have ... the only good thing about it is that we are part of a group that includes young currently working folk so the rates are relatively benign. But of course when she was working, we were subsidizing the retirees at the time.

As a profit center manager, I saw the cost to the company of the company-subsidized life insurance and the benefit varied over time from perhaps 2x to 1x as the cost pressures rose and the profit this quarter emphasis came in. We then bought at a group rate a multiple up to 5x depending on age but the employee paid for it. Once you retired, nothing. And once you retired, no health insurance either even though the company was one of the huge ones and had been profitable for 120 years.

What Google is doing isn't something special, it is something their tax lawyers have said they can do and is part of their becoming a huge company with the accompanying benefits and drawbacks. They compete with other companies for talent. They thought this would help. And probably saw someone die close to the founders and saw it as a good thing to do.

"people related to Google employees" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963819)

Like many people, I too wonder what happens after death, even to Google employees. Do they go to Heaven or Hell? Do they get uploaded to the web? Do they just expire? Inquiring minds want to know.

One thing is for sure, the dead people don't get money from Google because Google is giving that money to someone else.

Re:"people related to Google employees" (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963867)

Dead people don't have bank accounts for it to be deposited in.

What are they supposed to do, stash it in their coffin where it can't get spent?

Re:"people related to Google employees" (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963987)

Working at Google, their every thought and every move has been recorded and their precise physical appearance and capabilities have been recored from photographs. Once GoogleYou is perfected, they will be able to reconstruct the dead employees' personalities and download them into new robotic bodies. The GoogleYou replacement will be programmed to never even know you were dead.

Re:"people related to Google employees" (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965243)

And because Google employees have very low IQs, they won't figure it out, either. ;-)

Re:"people related to Google employees" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964151)

Do I have to use my real name?

Re:"people related to Google employees" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964171)

Like many people, I too wonder what happens after death, even to Google employees. Do they go to Heaven or Hell? Do they get uploaded to the web? Do they just expire? Inquiring minds want to know.

One thing is for sure, the dead people don't get money from Google because Google is giving that money to someone else.

Their spirits live on in the Google cache.

Re:"people related to Google employees" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965387)

They are discontinued like something out of google labs.

Re:"people related to Google employees" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965565)

They ascend into the Cloud.
 

unintended consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963825)

Strained marriage, headshot, free money.

Re:unintended consequences? (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964571)

Another potential unintended consequence is that Google will choose to hire younger as opposed to older people. Either that or older people will get lower wages offered to them. More cancer victims will apply for Google jobs (relatively to other companies)? Or will terminal patients be let go (since they can't probably can't work for an extended period of time).
Overall, the benefit seems dubious, as it is a benefit-in-kind and also it is deferred.

Re:unintended consequences? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965261)

Google has already chosen to hire younger people, and that is why this benefit looks affordable to them now.

Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963831)

When benefits (such as health care and pensions) are subsidized by the taxpayers, it makes sense for a company to provide those benefits. But for things like life insurance, where the company bears the full cost, it makes little sense. They should just pay the money to the employees, and let them decide for themselves what to spend it on.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963841)

I would agree in principle; one thing to consider though is that a large company can probably negotiate a much better "group" rate for some things (like life insurance).

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964607)

I hear this argument all the time, but people can organize clubs easily all and get similar bargaining power to achieve similar discount.
Benefits in cash are superior to benefits in kind, as they let the individual spend it on what they care about. Different individuals have unique preferences, goals and priorities.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965283)

They could. Maybe. It hasn't been proven, because to the best of my knowledge no one has every organized such a club in reality rather than in theory. But corporations do actually achieve bargain prices on these benefits. So to some extent, proof is in the pudding on this one.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963885)

When benefits (such as health care and pensions) are subsidized by the taxpayers, it makes sense for a company to provide those benefits. But for things like life insurance, where the company bears the full cost, it makes little sense.

In many jurisdictions, proceeds from life insurance are received tax free. Salary is not received tax free.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

Vekseid (1528215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963901)

This probably costs Google something like a few dollars per year per employee.

Insurance costs in general are cheaper for larger groups, on a per-person basis.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (2)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964019)

Or rather they are cheaper for low-risk groups. And Google employees are young (but not too young), well-educated, eat healthy foods from the Google Cafeteria, work out on office time in the office gym, and never drive their Priuses over the speed limit. That's got to be one of the lowest risk groups in the world.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965289)

The food in the Google cafeterias is not healthy. It is very high in fat and cholesterol, among other risk factors.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963923)

It makes sense for several reasons. First, group insurance rates are lower than what a person would get individually. Second, it's such a good idea for most people that it makes sense to ensure everyone has it. There might also be tax advantages, and apparently Google is trying to get some good PR too.

Making healthcare and pension pre-tax encourages employers to offer them, which is good for society in the long run. I wouldn't call them subsidies, but I suppose if you think the government should provide everything cradle to grave you could view it that way.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964301)

Making healthcare and pension pre-tax encourages employers to offer them, which is good for society in the long run.

Is it really good for society? My company has a 401k pension plan with an employer match. Nearly all well-paid employees participate, and basically quadruple their money (the match doubles it, the tax break roughly doubles it again). But the warehouse crew and other low paid employees participate at a much lower rate, or participate for a while and then drop out and withdraw all their money so they can pay 75% in penalties and use the other 25% to buy a big screen TV or whatever. When they drop out, their unvested matching money is distributed to the other (mostly high salaried) participants. As far as I can see, our 401k plan is just a scheme for tax dollars to go into the pockets of relatively well-off people. The vesting requirement also coerces people into sticking with an unhappy job, instead of seeking other alternatives where they may be happier and more productive.

I am not sure employer funded healthcare is good for society either. If individuals pay for their own care, they have a clear incentive to balance costs and benefits. If the government pays for healthcare, they have the incentive and power to control costs as well. But individual businesses have little power over insurance companies, and when an employee goes to a doctor, the employee has little concern for cost. So we get medical cost inflation that is double the CPI.

During the communist days in China, each factory would run their own schools for the children of their workers. If you changed jobs, and started working at a different factory, your kids had to change schools. That seems insane to us, but does it really make any more sense for your employer to choose your doctor or life insurance?

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964281)

When benefits (such as health care and pensions) are subsidized by the taxpayers, it makes sense for a company to provide those benefits. But for things like life insurance, where the company bears the full cost, it makes little sense. They should just pay the money to the employees, and let them decide for themselves what to spend it on.

It makes sense if Google is holding life insurance policies against its employees; policies that pay Google upon death. Part of the payout could be an annuity for any surviving spouse or domestic partner and children. Since Google employees are well paid with high earning potentials, the money paid to Google could cover the cost of the program or even make money for Google. Having very generous benefits would lessen any feelings of resentment over the company profiting from employees dying, while also demonstrating that they do actually care about their employees.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

Vladius (2577555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964689)

Companies have done that. They were called "Dead Peasant" insurance. Wal-Mart would take out a million dollar policy on a cashier or stocker and cash in if they happened to die young. And of course the family gets nothing. Supposedly, some companies still do it.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965317)

If such a program makes money for Google, there is an insurance actuary somewhere getting his ass fired.

Re:Higher salaries would make more sense (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964759)

There is a huge tax benefit to setting up a closely held insurance company, and it might even be a way to bring offshore profits onshore without a tax penalty. It also serves as an effective long-term retention tool, since you lose your term life coverage if you quit.

Insurance is a scam, but when you get to play at the table too things can get interesting.

Self-insured, or employee life insurance policies (2)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963837)

Google could have this benefit in lieu of paying for policies that pay a multiple of the annual salary like some other companies have. Or they could have policies on the employees that pay Google 10x the salary and they're sharing 50% of that as the as the primary benefit, the remainder funding the benefits for children that carry on until they're 19 (or 23)

What's interesting is that the article says the 50% pay benefit is for spouses or domestic partners, doesn't mentioned beneficiaries. If that's accurate then single employees don't have the same benefit paid out to anyone. That would be different than an insurance policy where you can designate the recipient. The article says that this company benefit would apply to most of their 34k employees, but that would only be the case if most of the employees had partners and/or children.

Re:Self-insured, or employee life insurance polici (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964525)

Just because it is not mentioned in the article, it does not mean it does not exist. 1000$ a month for all child benefiicaries. Some tuition payments are there. What I don't know is, if this is in addition to the standard group life insurance offered at most companies. Typically 3X to 5X salary for between $10 and $25 a month. Typically capped at 1X = 50 to 75K. If it is in addition, it is great, but again worth about 20$ a month. If it is in lieu of, then meh, INBD.

Re:Self-insured, or employee life insurance polici (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965343)

It would also be interesting to know how they define "domestic partner."

I worked for a great small company, and "domestic partner" to them meant "the person you have a relationship with, and live with."

Then, we got bought by a giant company, and "domestic partner" came to mean the state's definition. In the state I live in, an opposite sex partner does not count as a domestic partner.* A live-in same-sex partner does count, and you can get domestic partnership benefits.

* It's a bit more complicated than that, I think once you hit age 60-something you can claim domestic partner benefits as a live-in opposite-sex partner. But until then, forget about it.

That's a good benefit, but not unheard of... (4, Interesting)

TheRedSeven (1234758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963853)

That's essentially a company-paid life insurance policy of 5x annual salary (slightly less, actually, since it's annuitized). When I worked as a call center grunt shortly out of college, we were given a 1x annual salary term life insurance policy paid for by the company. With an option of paying something like $0.35/month for 3x annual salary term life insurance.

This is really not the crazy-off-the-wall benefit that it's being made out to be. It's good, to be sure, but not unheard of.

Re:That's a good benefit, but not unheard of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964105)

Yeah, I get 4x at my current job so long as I agree to contribute to the pension scheme (which is also incredibly generous so, duh, why not)

This is normal for mid-to-high-end salaried jobs. It's a cheap benefit to offer and it's very attractice to people with kids because even if you have arrangements for them to get adopted within the family (or they're teenagers and would do OK on their own anyway) the money really helps.

Re:That's a good benefit, but not unheard of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964695)

The 10-year spousal benefit is in addition to a more standard (and also free to the employee) 3x salary life insurance benefit.

Suddenly (1)

caspy7 (117545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963869)

Ten Google employees die under mysterious, yet seemingly unrelated, circumstances.

Re:Suddenly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964227)

Yeah, this reminds me of the Grisham novel about the law firm with the portraits of deceased partners and associates hanging in the lobby. Then the protagonist discovers that all those lawyers wound up dead from investigating what happened to the others...

What Happens To Google Employees When They Die? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40963891)

Recommended to the spirit in the sky...

Wow, for once this joke makes sense. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963909)

1. Marry someone at Google.
2. Hire an assassin.
3. Profit!!!

Re:Wow, for once this joke makes sense. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964167)

Too small scale.

1. Create a polygamous cult.
2. Marry several someones at Google.
3. Pass out Kool-Aid®.
4. Profit!

Extends into afterlife? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40963921)

"but the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife."

To extend into afterlife, they would have to do something for you after you died. For example, if they sent you a new Android phone each year into paradise (or hell, should you go there), that would be an extension into afterlife.

Re:Extends into afterlife? (1)

Jawcracker Fuzz (1773468) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964061)

Yep, gonna need plenty of ice and water when I get there.

Google Glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964033)

The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to Google Glass... then you see it!

mo3 up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964059)

What happens to Google employees when they die (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964089)

They are all uploaded to the Cloud.

Average employee age (4, Insightful)

hierofalcon (1233282) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964097)

I'd suspect that the average age of an employee at Google or most tech companies is so low compared to the rest of the business world that they expect to rarely pay out anything. If most of their workforce were expected to stick around till retirement age and it would actually cost them significant bucks due to natural causes versus accidental causes, I doubt they would be offering this benefit.

Just my cynical 2c worth

is it that great? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964131)

I work in the IT wing of a bank. My pay is around 50k and if I die my wife gets 350k plus gets half my pension for the rest of her life.

Re:is it that great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964625)

Your days are numbered

Re:is it that great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40965595)

Hmmm... glances at the calendar. I guess my days are numbered as well.

I hope I can opt out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964149)

As a google employee, I hope I can opt out of this.

I hate the idea of anyone (even someone I care for dearly) benefiting from my own death. It seems it could in some circumstances give them reason to want me dead. Never give anyone an incentive, however small, for someone else to be dead...

Re:I hope I can opt out... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964675)

Great idea. After all, when you die your kids (for example) suddenly no longer require food.

Hmmm (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964177)

While sounding somewhat good, this also has a potential downside.

What I am saying is - if you are working for Google and you have a spouse, make sure they don't want to see you dead, because all of a sudden this may become a lucrative enterprise. I mean, there is clearly a well defined step 2 in the: step 1, step 2, profit! scheme.

Newsflash: (1)

byrdfl3w (1193387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964229)

More Google employees dying of mysterious causes than microbiologists. More at 11.

Everybody knows: they go right to heaven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964253)

Google does not do evil. The employees from the other company (based in Redmond) are not so lucky: they have to go through some blue screening first where individuals responsible for most bugs are condemned to CTRL+ALT+DEL.

adv (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964331)

what Justin answered I am startled that you able to make $4325 in 4 weeks on the internet. have you seen this web link http://www.makecash16.com

walmart used to have KeyMan insurance on most (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964531)

walmart used to have KeyMan insurance on most of there workers and they got sued as they did not pay out.

Now Google is at least paying the family's but they still may be a some risk under the law and having it on all workers may also be breaking the law.

sigh... (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964557)

They mention `Google`, one of the greatest tech companies in the world
and 'check' in one sentence.

FWIW: in other parts of the world we do payments via electronic means all over the continent at lower cost and at quicker speeds.
Why didn't an ex-Googler work on the check-problem yet?

Re:sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964731)

I think they are using the term "check" as a colloquialism. I am sure google has electronic deposits.

Bits are recyclable (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964579)

Thus is A.I. They simply reincarnate as 0s or 1s and continue taking over the universe.

Google employees don't die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964671)

They just get archived

I wonder if it's a good idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40964711)

I suppose this is going to give google more intensive to: hire younger workers exclusively, hire contractors (as opposed to regular employees), offshore more work, and avoid hiring married workers.

Also, this could get to be a considerable expense. As I understand it, a lot of google workers earn around $200K/year. That is a $2 million life insurance policy for each and every one. No problem now, but what about ten years from now?

I’ll be seeing you (1)

kstahmer (134975) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964727)

'This might sound ridiculous,' but suppose the marriage/domestic partnership is in trouble. Suppose the Google employee intends to leave the significant other. Given the decade 50% salary death benefit, isn’t the significant other incentivized to expedite the Google employee’s death?

Wow google (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40964897)

you invented life insurance, and benefits thats going to pile up on you in debt just like GM, it must be nice to be a genius

Sensationalism (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40965259)

Everyone's life insurance/AD&D/long term disability benefits provide the same thing for around $10/paycheck and there is usually a base level provided at no extra cost. The biggest news here is that Google is apparently developing its own reality distortion field.

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