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Cisco benefits

The benefits solutions we offer are designed to help employees be their best. We support our people in whatever they may be facing with offerings that can make a real difference in their lives and the lives of the people they love.

Benefits for all

We all come from different backgrounds and perspectives, and, at Cisco, we find power in those differences. Our strategy is to offer inclusive, highly adaptable benefits that support our employees wherever they live and work. The below are offerings available to employees worldwide and are in addition to many more country-specific benefits.

We make wellbeing
a priority.

Wellbeing at Cisco embodies our Conscious Culture and sets standards for our working environments, unique beliefs, and everyday interactions. We focus on whole person health—physical, emotional, social, and financial wellbeing.

We champion every family.

No two families are the same, and the solutions we offer are designed in recognition of this.

We support every
life stage.

We’re there for employees through life’s triumphs and challenges.

We're there
for others.

It’s in our DNA to help others—we strive to enable our people to care for their people.

Always there to offer help for life's ups and downs

Our employee assistance program (EAP), provided by Optum, helps employees and anyone in their household through transitions, work-related stress, and other personal challenges, including life events, parenting concerns, and financial and legal issues. The EAP offers:

  • Up to 10 free in-person or virtual counseling sessions (per concern) for employees and family members
  • A dedicated resource site with articles, tips, checklists, and suggestions for approaching and managing everyday issues
  • A referral service to help employees find local resources like babysitters, house sitters, dog walkers, and more

Standout U.S. benefits

Genetic testing for certain cancers

We believe that the more employees know about their health, the better decisions they’ll make. Employees covered in our self-insured medical plans can request genetic testing to identify changes in the genes associated with developing breast and/or ovarian cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2), simply because it’s important to them. We encourage all employees to get pre-test counseling from their plan to understand the information that might come from their results. All U.S. Cisco medical plans already offer this testing when medically necessary.

Diabetes prevention and management

We offer one-on-one coaching for both diabetes prevention and management (for those already living with diabetes). Vida Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program connects employees and their family members with a personal coach who is specifically trained in diabetes prevention through a custom-designed plan to support lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. Employees or family members who have already been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes get real-time advice and coaching through our partner Livongo to make managing diabetes easier. Through this partnership, participants are offered:

  • An advanced blood glucose meter
  • Unlimited strips and lancets delivered by mail
  • Real-time support from diabetes experts to help participants better manage their health

Personal financial counseling and support (United States and Canada)

Boosting financial confidence can do a lot to improve overall wellbeing. Alight Financial Path provides confidential, unbiased, one-on-one counseling so employees don’t have to navigate their finances alone. Financial wellbeing pros can answer quick questions or spend more time to complete a custom action plan. They guide employees through basic to complex financial matters, including:

  • Prioritizing goals
  • Paying down debt
  • Managing credit score
  • Building emergency savings
  • Making a retirement plan
  • Expert tax guidance

In 2022, Cisco launched its first global financial wellbeing assessment tool. The assessment is 100 percent voluntary, and employees who participate receive a financial health score and actions they can take to improve their score. Money topics include budgeting, debt management, savings, and protection. Employees can reach out to our EAP to discuss financial challenges or questions about their assessment results. The goal of the assessment is twofold: help employees improve their financial wellbeing foundation and learn more about our employees’ financial health needs to help us offer meaningful financial wellbeing resources.

College admissions coaching

College Coach gives employees free access to college admissions professionals who can advise them on the right type of savings vehicles, navigating the financial aid process, and managing student loans. College Coach also offers individualized guidance to help employees’ high schoolers with college selection, admissions essays, interviews, and more.

Access to skilled attorneys

For a low paycheck contribution, employees can enroll in MetLife Prepaid Legal and get access to expert legal advice. MetLife attorneys can help with issues related to:

  • Personal and family matters like estate planning, small claims assistance, and adoption assistance
  • Caring for aging parents, such as reviewing Medicare/Medicaid documents and nursing home agreements
  • Buying, renting, or selling a house, and more

Employees can also choose the MetLife Legal Plan Plus Parents to add coverage for certain services for their parents, in-laws, and stepparents.

Caregiving concierge support (available in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States)

Most of us will be caregivers at some point, whether as a sole caregiver or part of a care team. In either role, Cisco employees have access to personalized and dedicated support while managing complex and ongoing care needs for themselves or a loved one. Wellthy’s Caregiving Concierge helps employees navigate situations like supporting an aging parent, a child with special needs, a spouse/partner with a new diagnosis, or a loved one who has suffered an accident. Employees can also use this service for their own ongoing or acute care needs. Caregiving Concierge benefits include:

  • An online Care Dashboard that keeps everything safe and accessible; employees can manage contacts, keep a care team informed, organize tasks, and store important documents
  • Access to a specialized, compassionate Care Coordinator to get answers to questions, help with care tasks, create a care plan, or to set up a Care Dashboard for ongoing support
  • Keeping siblings, friends, and even neighbors in the loop with streamlined communication and a Care Coordinator to moderate difficult conversations

Care Coordinators can also direct employees to other relevant Cisco solutions, depending on their needs.

Finding the right in-home caregiver

CareLinx is an online matchmaker that helps employees easily find and hire the right in-home caregiver for an adult family member. Employees answer a few questions about their needs, and a CareLinx advisor helps find the perfect caregiver from their network of over 100,000 candidates. Employees can rest easy knowing that all CareLinx caregivers are background checked and covered with professional liability insurance. Cisco employees get the first four hours of care for free.

We make wellbeing a priority

We care deeply about the physical and mental health of our people. That’s why we offer quality healthcare plans and comprehensive solutions to help our employees be their best.

Supporting personal health goals

Employees looking to improve their health, reach fitness goals, manage stress, and sleep better can access powerful resources. In the United States, our personal health coaching partner and wellness expert, Vida Health, helps employees determine and stick to their wellness goals, big or small. Employees have a choice of coaches with different backgrounds and coaching styles who work with them to build a personalized plan. Coaches offer expert guidance and motivation through video and phone consultation and in-app messaging. With the Vida Health app and through their coaches, employees can get everything from customized grocery lists to nutrition plans to tracking tools.

Cisco Pavelka is a unique initiative that started as a grassroots movement in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region to help promote a culture of health and wellbeing. The Pavelka model focuses on four elements of health: Eat, Sweat, Think, and Connect. This initiative is now available to employees across Asia Pacific, Japan, China, Latin America, and Canada. Cisco Pavelka empowers employees to make healthy choices and create communities that inspire and motivate each other to make small and sustainable changes. Recently, Pavelka expanded into the United States with a unique focus of enabling the wellbeing of leaders and teams. The goal is to create healthy, resilient teams by embedding wellbeing rituals into the workday that help teams thrive.

Onsite health and fitness centers (available in some countries)

Our LifeConnections Health Centers (available at three of our largest campuses—San Jose, California; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Bangalore, India) offer high-quality, integrated healthcare exclusively to Cisco employees and their families. The LifeConnections team focuses on “the whole you”—treating mind, body, and spirit. Employees and their family members can schedule same-day or future appointments for (services vary by location):

  • Preventive annual exams
  • Urgent care for injuries and illnesses
  • Lab tests and immunizations
  • Physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture
  • Individual and family counseling for stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and more
  • Health, nutrition, and life coaching

Our LifeConnections Fitness Centers turn fitness into fun. We offer no-cost virtual fitness classes for employees and families around the world, making it easy to add in a workout during the day. We offer classes such as P90X, Zumba, HIIT Express, full-body workouts, and more. In select on-campus locations, we feature technology-enabled fitness equipment so employees can manage their training program via the cloud, check email, listen to podcasts, browse their favorite sites, and even attend Webex meetings while exercising. For a low or no monthly fee, employees can access the facility, group classes, personal training, and more.

Convenient virtual health visits (many countries)

With virtual visits, employees can see doctors from any computer or mobile device without having to leave the comfort of home. The doctors can diagnose and treat a wide range of nonemergency medical conditions and even write prescriptions—making it easy for our employees to get care when they need it.

Support while traveling

Cisco employees have a number of programs available to help provide peace of mind when traveling.

International SOS gives employees and their family members access to 24-hour support, including medical referrals to a physician who speaks their language, travel health information, interpreters, lost document advice and assistance, and more.

Medical Benefits Abroad provides employees and any eligible dependents traveling with them emergency medical coverage. Plus, employees have travel life insurance to protect their families.

End-of-year shutdown

Each year, Cisco holds a year-end shutdown. Employees in North America are required to take time off, and those around the world are encouraged to do the same. With so much of the workforce taking time off, it’s a great opportunity for employees to disconnect from the office and spend quality time with friends and family.

Nurturing the mind

Cisco Mind Set teaches simple, cognitive strategies, grounded in mindfulness and science, that help boost mental stamina. Participants can conveniently choose from instructor-led courses or on-demand lessons to develop techniques that help strengthen resilience, focus, and adaptability, as well as optimizing their performance at work. Courses are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Canadian French.

We champion every family

Every family has a unique story—and we have benefits to support them all.

Financial assistance for adoption and surrogacy (available in the United States and Canada)

We want to help employees who dream of starting a family—whatever path they take to get there. Cisco provides reimbursement for:

Up to US$20,000 in qualified out-of-pocket adoption expenses per child. Covered expenses include court costs, agency fees, and attorney fees.

Up to US$20,000 in qualified surrogacy expenses per child. Covered expenses include many legal and administrative expenses and certain medical expenses for your surrogate.

Up to US$50,000 (lifetime maximum) for family planning expenses not related to medical necessity. Covered expenses include harvesting, freezing, and storage for eggs, sperm, and embryos, IVF services, and donor services. (Due to U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, employees must be enrolled in a Cisco medical plan when the expense is incurred and when the request is submitted.)

Support for parents and anyone caring for children

RethinkCare, a program that traditionally offered support to Cisco parents of children with a learning, social, or behavioral challenge, or a developmental disability such as autism, Down syndrome, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has recently expanded their offering to support children of all abilities. Employees can schedule up to seven hours of free, one-on-one phone consultations per year to discuss their child’s specific needs. Rethink’s experts provide personalized guidance on topics such as improving motor skills, decreasing problem behaviors, addressing bullying, reducing screen time, and more. Rethink also offers evidence-based education and a rich library of skill-based content to help develop the emotional intelligence skills of all ages and abilities.

Back-up care for children and adults (available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland)

When regular caregiving arrangements fall through, employees have access to back-up care through Bright Horizons Care Advantage™ at affordable rates.

For children: Employees can request safe, reliable back-up care at a center or at home.

For adults: If regular plans fall through or a relative is released from the hospital, employees can get in-home back-up care, even if their relative doesn’t live with them. Caregivers can help with minor chores, housekeeping, meal preparation, and personal care.

On-site children's learning centers (available in the United States, United Kingdom, and India)

Our LifeConnections Children’s Learning Centers on Cisco campuses in San Jose, California; Bedfont Lakes, United Kingdom; and Bangalore, India, serve employees’ children between six weeks and five years old. The Learning Centers’ rich curriculum focuses on promoting social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, and creativity through art, dance, and language education.

Children are exposed to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) activities aligned with their cognitive age level. The curriculum is supported with state-of-the-art technology, including computers, iPads, and Smart Boards. Leveraging Cisco video tools, parents can check in on their child’s day at any time from their desktop. The centers also offer rich programming for children up to age 12 during school breaks and summer months.

Gifts for our littlest ones

Cisco welcomes new additions to the Cisco family with a free baby gift and welcome kit. Employees have one year from the birth or adoption of their baby to request their gift.

Physician advocacy for transgender and nonbinary employees and family

Part of our purpose is recognizing and addressing different needs. Our transgender and nonbinary employees and family members worldwide can get a dedicated physician manager with expertise in navigating the healthcare system and connecting to the right providers.

Physician managers will answer questions and offer support in areas like gender affirmation surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and ongoing physical and mental health needs. They can even reach out to doctors in advance of appointments to talk them through specific needs. Employees, spouses/domestic partners, children, parents, and parents-in-law can access this program whether enrolled in a Cisco medical plan or not.

We support every life stage

We’re there for our people through thick and thin. And for our Cisco moms and dads, we provide parenting solutions from diapers to diplomas.

More peace of mind for treatment decisions

Employees and their families can get a free, independent medical opinion from physicians in whatever specialty they need. Leading experts from around the world review the case and offer diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Teladoc creates an easy-to-read summary that employees can share with a treating physician. Expert Medical Opinion helps employees feel calmer and more confident when facing a difficult diagnosis or treatment decision.

Resources and support for caregivers

Balancing career and household responsibilities can be a challenge. We offer support for our employees who are caring for a loved one who has suffered an accident or is facing a health issue, and for employees who are assisting aging relatives. Solutions for Caregivers is offered through the EAP, provided by Optum. Employees who call are connected with a caring, experienced specialist who will listen to their needs, offer advice, and provide verified and personalized referrals to resources in their community. Specialists can help with:

  • Identifying housing options or in-home services such as housekeeping, meal services, and transportation
  • Locating health resources such as Alzheimer’s support and diabetes education
  • Providing referrals to legal and financial services

Specialists will also connect employees and their family members to relevant resources such as caregiver support groups and senior activities.

Time to enjoy birthdays

All employees can take any day off within 10 days of their birthday to celebrate, on Cisco.

Grandparent time off

Becoming a grandparent is an exciting milestone. To help employees celebrate and support their loved ones during this special time, Cisco grandparents can take up to three paid days off within one year of the arrival of a new grandchild.

Building a nest egg (available in many countries)

Our Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP) allows Cisco employees to use a portion of their salary to buy Cisco stock at a discount. Employees can purchase shares during an enrollment period twice per year and invest in Cisco's future.

Preparing for retirement (available in some countries)

Cisco offers different programs in different countries to help employees prepare for retirement and secure their financial future.

United States: The Cisco 401(k) plan lets employees reduce taxes now and save for the future. Employees can contribute up to IRS limits, and Cisco matches their contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to 4.5 percent of eligible pay. Employees can contribute pre-tax or on a Roth 401(k) basis.

Canada: The Cisco Registered Retirement Savings Plan helps employees save for retirement and reduce taxes. Employees can contribute up to 18 percent of eligible compensation pre-tax up to Canada Revenue Agency limits. Cisco matches contributions dollar for dollar, up to the first 4 percent of eligible compensation.

Outside the United States and Canada: Cisco offers a pension plan to employees in more than 30 countries.

We're there for others

We understand that our employees are also parents, colleagues, and community members. We make it easier for our people to support and help the people they love.

Paid time off to volunteer

Cisconians care about their communities and the world around them. That’s why we empower them to support causes they care about through our Time2Give program. Employees get five paid days off each calendar year to volunteer for a nonprofit or school of their choice. We increased this to 10 days in 2021, in recognition of the increased needs in many communities as a result of COVID-19 and our employees’ desire to help.

Paid time off for critical moments

Life is unpredictable. Whether dealing with a death, illness, or a natural disaster, we make it easier for our employees to attend to significant life events and their families without worrying about work. With Critical Time Off (CTO), employees can take time off at full pay to deal with sudden, unexpected circumstances that require their undivided attention—without having to dip into regular paid time off. And for this benefit “family” is referred to in the broadest sense—as those whom an employee might rely on or who rely on them—so they can be there for the people closest to them.

Gender-neutral paid time off to bond with a new child

Our parental leave is designed to foster an inclusive environment and reflect our culture, which celebrates diverse backgrounds and families. The amount of paid time off that an employee gets to care for a newborn or adopted child is based on their caregiving role—not their gender.

Paid time off for voting

To help with fulfilling civic responsibilities, Cisco employees get a paid day off to vote in major country elections.

A safe community to offer online support

Our Safe To Talk community offers mental health articles, videos, tips, and links to help each of us identify signs of struggle and offer support (at work and at home). The community is also a place where employees can share their personal mental health stories openly and honestly and check in on one another.