Southern Company offers competitive compensation and benefits programs that both attract new employees and retain tenured employees. Programs include a comprehensive compensation package, including base salary, short- and long-term incentives, pension and savings plans, and healthcare and wellness programs.
Our pay program is designed to compensate employees at competitive levels. Base salary is the foundation of the company's compensation program and is dependent on job classification, market pay levels and individual performance. Variable pay is designed to focus employees on and reward them for achieving company, business unit, and individual goals.
We offer a wide variety of market-competitive benefit choices to employees and their families. These include healthcare and wellness programs and a comprehensive retirement program consisting of a pension and savings plan.
Southern Company provides comprehensive health insurance to employees and their families. SouthernLifeStyle is an enhanced health and wellness program, available to employees and their spouses as part of the medical plan. Some of the features of the program include:
The company helps employees save for their retirement by contributing to retirement plans. Southern company offers a defined benefit pension plan designed to provide employees with a monthly retirement annuity. The amount is based in large part on an employee's earnings and length of service. Southern Company also offers a savings plan that allows employees to contribute a portion of their pay to a before-tax account, a traditional after-tax account, a Roth 401(k) account, or a combination of the three. The company currently matches 85 percent on the first 6 percent of base pay an employee contributes.
Employees at Southern Company may be called upon to serve during and after catastrophic storms. Family Services provides assistance to employees who incur significant damage to personal property as a result of a widespread disaster impacting business continuity. Employees and their families are not left alone to face lives turned upside-down by catastrophe.
We give our employees opportunities to learn, grow, and advance in their careers. On-the-job development provides the primary way that employees grow and develop. In 2011, 1,463 employees moved into new jobs and 263 leaders moved into a new company or function.
Southern Company also offers online resources and classroom education to develop employees. For example, Southern Company recently initiated a new online portal called Power U to educate all employees on the business and our strategic priorities.
In addition to expanding wellness benefits, Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power recently opened two new child care centers. The Bright Generations centers build the kind of workplace it takes to attract and retain the best employees. The centers offer employee families in need of child care away from the home an accredited program with a sound instructional component and nurturing environment.
The child care facilities add to wellness benefits that include a new fitness center as well as free health monitoring and disease prevention services on-site.
Georgia Power, Southern Company's largest subsidiary, operates the biggest commuter program of any public utility in the nation and the largest of any corporation in Georgia. SmartRide offers carpool, vanpool, transit, telework, flex time, alternative work locations, shuttle, and other commuting choices to employees. Many are subsidized to encourage broader participation.
Over 46 percent of eligible employees take advantage of the SmartRide program, avoiding 1.3 million driving miles every month. This equates to an annual reduction of 60 tons in transportation-sourced carbon dioxide emissions in metro Atlanta. CommuteSmart vans also run in Birmingham for Alabama Power riders.