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Learn English with this work English lesson

Date: Apr 01 2013

Themes: Work

Grammar: Direct vs. Reported Speech


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In the US and some other countries, many people get more than just money from their job. They also get health insurance, retirement funds, and other benefits, if they’re lucky.

There was a time when most jobs in the US came with many benefits. Now, there are fewer benefits available. Health insurance is the most common benefit, but even that isn’t a guarantee. Dental insurance? Forget about it.

Despite these changes, American society is set up in a way that expects that people will have benefits from their jobs. It’s very hard to pay for health insurance and retirement without benefits. Listen to Mason and Greta discuss these issues in this work English lesson.





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Mason:  I’m starting to knuckle down and do my taxes and I always have to decide whether or not I’m going to put anything away, because I don’t get a retirement benefit from my work. Do you?

Greta:  No, I am a student. I don’t have benefits.

Mason:  You get nothing, basically.

Greta:  I get nothing. And before that I was a Pilates instructor which also means nothing.

Mason:  It’s funny, my dad and I always have conversations because he comes from the old guard where he had a pension, and his company matched money that he would put in his retirement account, all these amazing benefits.

Greta:  Sure.

Mason:  He’s like, “Why doesn’t your company give you those things?” and I’m like, “Hey, I’m thrilled that my company gives me health insurance.”

Greta:  Oh, yeah. I have benefits through my husband, and in this world where people are so concerned about money, especially during the recession, it’s kind of a miracle to me that businesses still insure families: the employee, their significant other, and their children. That seems kind of amazing to me.

Mason:  Yeah, there’s just kind of a social contract, I think, in terms of if you want to work at a professional job those sorts of things are expected. And you know, when you think about why does it happen, we’ve heard conversations from people leading the company that it’s a recruitment tool. While it isn’t something that everybody is offering, for the people who are, it’s a serious consideration in terms of taking Job A over Job B.

Greta:  That’s true.


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Mason recently paid his taxes. He has to decide if he can put away any money right now for retirement. He gets some benefits from his job, but not retirement matching.

As a student, Greta doesn’t get any benefits. She didn’t get any at her last job either. However, her husband’s health insurance plan applies to significant others.

Mason’s dad is part of the old guard and still believes employers should give many benefits. Mason agrees that benefits are part of the social contract for some jobs.

Do you get any benefits from your job? Are benefits common in your country?



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I guess if i work for a company which pay a great salary l’ll be able to put something away or invest them somehow there will be no need for pension or other benefits

07:29 PM Feb 10 2016 |

javier armando


In Perú most of jobs dont offer any kind of social insurance what can be really depressing, but I think joining a international company that operates at big scale is highly able to match all aspects of worker´s insurance.

06:07 AM Apr 23 2013 |



United States

Life is so tough in US right now, they don’t even think abouk giving health insurance.

05:39 AM Apr 22 2013 |




Health insurance is a MUST for most of companies in our city, and that’s the only benifits I have from the company I am working for. A pension? whew, i do not dare to think about it. Yet, some companies in our country, like oil companies, banks, their employees got so many benifits from their companies, so i do not know i should say it is fair or unfair.

09:45 AM Apr 02 2013 |



u must get benefits from every thing in ur life

05:04 PM Apr 01 2013 |



Well, I don’t work yet, but employees here get all sorts of benefits, like no matter what your job is you get a pension. Also, some companys may give their employees a scholarship for a higher education. And about health insurance, it’s already given to any Bahraini citizen.

04:07 PM Apr 01 2013 |




There are a lot of employees all over the world have to accept their jobs without any benefits and even without health insurance, because they don’t have any other choices they have to live and feed their children.

02:04 PM Apr 01 2013 |




 I have a friend in Seattle  working at the Boeing company , the aircraft company  matches the money  that each month he sends   to the church  he is affiliated  with.  

01:46 PM Apr 01 2013 |




In Argentine when  you lost your paid job  you are entitled to  submit an application  to the government to  receive some help in the form of money.  While working ,your employer  deduct  money from your salary  and sends  it to social security  in case you and your family needs health treatments. We don´t have retirements plans as putting away money for your future, instead  each month  a cut of your salary is sent to social security  and  at 65 years for men and 60 for women they  can retire and receive a pension for life.  In the US, many people  are working  receiving minimum wages and for them   health insurance benefits are almost nonexistent, medical and dental care cost a fortune. I have been told by a  Canadian  retired man that in his country  he has  free access to  health benefits but while working  he had been sending  each month a big chunk of his salary to pay taxes  

01:22 PM Apr 01 2013 |

Isaura Pedro


At the moment I’m unemployed but in Portugal we have the social security and you have to pay every month a tax of 11% of your salary. This includes health (we just have to pay a small amount when you need to go to the Hospital for sirgury or medical assistance – dental assistence not included) and also for retirement or unemployment. Even though, some private companies pays health insure and other benefits like cell phone, car and bonus.

In my case I get a payment every month from de Social Security for being unemployed, for 18 month.

12:14 PM Apr 01 2013 |



I get benefits from my job. Healt insurance and retirement fund. There are some others benefits too. Maybe too small but still make me happy. For example when I wanted to buy museum card I only paid the halp amount of the price through my job.

11:46 AM Apr 01 2013 |



Saudi Arabia

I am looking for a job but I have benefits through my husband. In my country a benefits are common for both government employee and private sector employee like health insurance  retirement funds, and other benefits. In addition we  dont pay taxes in our country .

10:40 AM Apr 01 2013 |




The point of the retirement benefits in my opinion is not just getting enough money but also it’s kind of an appreciation to you by your company and when get a job gives such an appreciation you can do anything for it, unfortunately we don’t have enough benefits but hopefully in the future everything is gonna change I Keep my fingers crossed.

10:33 AM Apr 01 2013 |

lion tear

lion tear


I think in most parts of the world, people get benefits from their jobs. And I also think that the more benefits jobs give, the more workers get motivated ;)

09:49 AM Apr 01 2013 |




Getting benefits is common in my country especially people who work as a full time. They are able to get all of the benefits from their employers such as health insurance, pension plan, and even dental plan. It has become a social contract in all country. However, there are differnent coverage of insurance. I mean if you pay more for each  plan, they cover maximum percentage of insurance for you. Also, many companies accept to match employees’ salary and cover significant other and children insurance with full coverage. It was common in old guard that they tried to put anything away to compensate their insurance, but it is rare right now.

07:45 AM Apr 01 2013 |

Ngubo Sixtus

South Africa

i do get benefits in my job. other business companies give benefits to their employees that is encouraging them to do best in their jobs.

04:54 AM Apr 01 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I think, we have some faults in organization system in all over the world. To respect for the goverments, we see an overt discrimination between govermental corporations and non-goverments, for example in Iran, if you are lucky enough to be hired in a govermental company, you can get constant salary and many benefits for sure, such as retirement fund and health insurance or using discount coupons for shopping and other stuff, but what happen for non-govermental employees?? Nothing!! they just pay more taxes without any important govermental benefits. This contrast shows a gap in society, some people grow on by weak bureacratic system and others must try to do their best for making money more even with high pressure and stress.

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