Compensation

Survey Says: Non-Health Benefits Staying Strong

A recent survey conducted by M Lee Smith Publishers offers some surprising insights on non-healthcare benefits. For example, only about 19 percent of respondents offer telecommuting, although 35 percent allow flex time. Nearly a third offer PTO, and about a third offer a wellness program.

About 500 employers participated in the survey, which revealed many intriguing trends, including the following:

  • Most of respondents’ non-health insurance benefits offerings are about the same as last year’s (80.31%).
  • A majority of respondents aren’t planning to make changes to their Non-health insurance benefits offerings in 2011 (57.2%).
  • Most respondents believe that non-health care benefits costs will either stay pretty much the same in 2011 (33.86%) or will rise but the change won’t be very significant (38.98%).
  • For organizations with a 401(k) or 403(b) employer match, many indicated that they haven’t stopped it in the last few years (48.12%).
  • A surprising number of employers reported offering “atypical” benefits such as on-site fitness centers (14.96%), flex-work arrangements (24.41%), financial planning assistance (13.78%), and legal assistance programs (13.39%).

Want to know what your competitors are offering? Here are the detailed results:

Which of these benefits do you offer to your employees?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Health insurance

487

95.87%  

Life insurance

462

90.94%  

Dental insurance

460

90.55%  

Paid holidays

432

85.04%  

Defined-contribution retirement plan (such as a 401(k) or 403(b

427

84.06%  

Long-term disability

392

77.17%  

Paid vacation days

360

70.87%  

Short-term disability

351

69.09%  

Vision insurance

349

68.70%  

Flexible spending account

334

65.75%  

Paid sick days

323

63.58%  

Employee assistance program

305

60.04%  

Tuition reimbursement

269

52.95%  

Flex time

179

35.24%  

Health and wellness program

169

33.27%  

PTO (paid time off with sick and vacation lumped together)

165

32.48%  

Defined-benefit retirement plan (traditional pension plan)

121

23.82%  

Telecommuting

95

18.70%  

Profit sharing

91

17.91%  

Stock options

23

4.53%  

On-site childcare

11

2.17%  

None of the above

1

0.20%  

Other

42

8.27%  

Do most of your business’ competitors offer similar non-wage benefits?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Yes, about the same

238

46.94%  

No, our company’s benefits are MORE generous than our competitors

113

22.29%  

No, our company’s benefits are LESS generous than our competitors

25

4.93%  

Don’t know

111

21.89%  

Other

2

0.39%  

No answer

18

3.55%  

What type of retirement benefits do you offer your employees?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Traditional 401(k)

327

64.37%  

Company pension plan (defined-benefit plan)

112

22.05%  

Roth 401(k)

102

20.08%  

457 plan

75

14.76%  

Profit sharing

70

13.78%  

403(b) plan

69

13.58%  

SIMPLE or SEP

18

3.54%  

ESOP

15

2.95%  

Union-sponsored pension plan

15

2.95%  

Employer stock options

8

1.57%  

Other

39

7.68%  


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Do you outsource the administration of any of your benefits plans?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Retirement plan

310

61.02%  

Flexible spending plan

259

50.98%  

Health plan

249

49.02%  

No, we do it all in-house

101

19.88%  

No, we don’t offer these benefits

7

1.38%  

Other

14

2.76%  

Is your organization considering making changes to its benefits package in 2011?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Yes

123

24.21%  

No

215

42.32%  

Not Sure

140

27.56%  

No answer

30

5.91%  

How does your organization determine what benefits it will offer to employees?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Evaluate benefits packages offered by other companies and our competitors

256

50.39%  

Work with a consultant to create a plan

179

35.24%  

Survey employees to see what they are interested in

131

25.79%  

Not sure

53

10.43%  

Other

68

13.39%  


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When was the last time your organization did a comprehensive evaluation of its benefits package?

Answer

Count

Percentage

Within the past year

253

49.90%  

2009

68

13.41%  

2008

33

6.51%  

2007

11

2.17%  

before 2007

62

12.23%  

Other

12

2.37%  

No answer

68

13.41%  

If your organization has a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, what is the status of your employer match?

Answer

Count

Percentage

We have an employer match and haven’t stopped it in the last few years.

243

48.12%  

We have never had an employer match.

74

14.65%  

We stopped our employer match but plan on reinstating it.

36

7.13%  

We stopped our employer match for a while but have reinstated it.

19

3.76%  

We have an employer match and plan on stopping it.

0

0.00%

Other

58

11.49%  

No answer

75

14.85%  

In tomorrow’s Advisor, more survey results including “Atypical Benefits,” and an introduction to a special program just for smaller or one-person HR departments.

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  • Anonymous

    This survey has interesting results but key items left out of the article are: sizes, locations, and industries of the surveyed companies. I’m in manufacturing so it is hard to assess if any of the data has relevance without details on the source of the data.

  • Anonymous

    This was really useful one to a student like me who is doing HR survey for final year thesis. It would have been more effective if the nature of industry, size of business were mentioned in which this survey was done. Thanks