Hedge fund D.E. Shaw to help cover fertility, surrogacy services as part of new benefits plan

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Famed quant fund D.E. Shaw is the latest big-name financial firm to up its benefits package for hopeful parents. Under its new “family building benefit” plan, the firm will reimburse eligible employees up to $40k for fertility, adoption and surrogacy services, according to a source familiar with the new rollout.

Reimbursable expenses now include invitro fertilization (IVF), genetic screening as well as egg, sperm and embryo freezing. In terms of surrogacy and adoption services, employees can utilize the fund to cover medical expenses, legal and agency fees as well as travel costs, according to the source. The new plan reportedly does not require employees to first prove infertility or receive pre-authorization – one of the bigger hurdles women often face when trying to tap into similar benefits.

“The D. E. Shaw group is pleased to provide a comprehensive and inclusive family building benefit to our staff,” Aaron Kirchner, D.E. Shaw’s head of human capital, told eFC in a statement. “Our goal in offering this benefit is to relieve some of the emotional and financial stress on those who seek to build a family.” The hedge fund declined to provide additional specifics on the plan.

Other financial firms have recently introduced similar benefit options in what is being seen as a broader effort by the industry to retain more female staff. Goldman Sachs offers an assisted fertility benefit in the U.K. that includes IVF treatment as well as access to treatment and consultation for gender reassignment surgery. It also pays to ship breast milk when employed mothers are traveling. Bank of America also offers coverage for IVF treatment and supporting medications.

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