Thanks for all your hard work: Family-owned company hands out 5-figure bonuses

These days, bonuses are as rare as $4 gas. But that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared.

Peer Bearing Co., located in Waukegan, IL, recently passed out bonuses and hand-signed cards thanking employees for their years of service. It wasn't until employees began looking at the enclosed bonus checks that the enormity of the owner's generosity became apparent.

Peer Bearing employees reported receiving bonus checks ranging from $10,000 to $35,000
depending on their time at the company.

In all, the 67-year-old company passed out $6.6 million in bonuses to the 230 employees of the family owned ball bearing company, which had over $100 million in sales last year and was recently sold to a Swedish firm. The bonuses aren't meant as a severance package, as most employees will retain their jobs under the new ownership. The family had agreed on a bonus long before the sale and simply wanted to thank the employees for their loyalty and hard work.

With companies cutting bonuses, raises and jobs; these five- figure checks are a welcome boost to Peer Co. employees, who compared it to winning the lottery!

Speaking of winning the lottery; let's hope these workers sat down with a financial planner soon after they received their bonus. This is a great opportunity for employees to pay off credit cards and mortgages, bulk up college funds or attempt to make up for the loss their retirement plan likely took this year.

For that matter anyone who receives a bonus this year should look closely at the best place put the extra money during these tough times in order to maximize the impact on their finances.
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