Benefits and Compensation

Reap the Benefits of an Employee Benefits Survey

Unless you know what other companies like yours pay in benefits, you truly don’t know what to pay. Research like BLR’ s 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits will tell you.

A recent Daily Advisor noted the cost of paid time off to business had risen to equal that of healthcare, and that each of these costs absorbed 9 percent to 14 percent of the typical company’s payroll.

With benefits equaling up to a quarter or more of what you pay your workforce, it’s vital to control such expenses. You don’t want to pay too much … a lesson learned the hard way by some automakers and airlines, among others. But in the face of a talent war in the workplace, you also don’t want to pay too little, and lose great people over an extra holiday or two. The key to knowing what to offer is knowing what other companies offer.

The key to that is the benefits survey. BLR does one every year, based on benefits information provided by some 4,000 companies nationwide. The 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits recently crossed our desk. Here are some of the trends it reported:

Know what other companies like yours are offering in benefits with the BLR 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits. Click here to order. Satisfaction assured.

–Healthcare Costs Increase Decreasing. It would be too much to ask to actually see a reduction in healthcare premiums, but at least the rate of increase is lowering. From a skyrocketing 14 percent in 2004, that rate has dropped to just 3 percent this year, Still, average healthcare costs are double that of a decade ago. Average cost per worker in 1996: $3,173. In 2006: $6,275.

–Deductibles Rising: One cost control measure being almost universally implemented is increasing healthcare deductibles. Some 30 percent of employers now set a deductible of over $1,000, up from 18 percent in 2004. Smaller employers (under 100 workers) lead the way, with 37 percent requiring a four-figure deductible.

–Domestic Partner Coverage Up. With record numbers of unmarried individuals living together, more organizations are extending healthcare benefits to domestic partners, of either sex. In 2001, only 8 percent of employers had this coverage; now it’s 18 percent.

–Paid Military Leave More Common. USERRA requires only that you guarantee employees in the military a right to return to their own or equivalent jobs, not pay them while they serve. Yet 21 percent of companies surveyed are doing so in full, and 43 percent make up the difference between military and civilian wages. Patriotism is likely one reason; retention is another.

Data must be localized to be of greatest use

These are, of course, national trends. But to really get the benefit of a benefits survey, you need to localize the comparisons. Unless you’re a big city employer or your competitors are big corporations, there’s no need to match their costs.

Localized data of what similar companies to yours are offering in benefits, so you know what to offer … for only $99. Click to order, satisfaction assured.

BLR’s 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits is localized. All the items above, plus paid holidays and other paid time off, disability coverage, shift work practices, pension and thrift plans, even dress codes, are among the items reported on, every one detailed against all these parameters.

–Size of company
–Size of labor market
–Profit vs. not-for-profit organization
–Industry (manufacturing, finance, retail, education, etc.)
–Type of employee (exempt, non-exempt office,nonexempt plant)

The BLR 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits is available for $99, on a satisfaction-assured basis. Or you can get it at no extra cost, along with annual surveys of exempt and nonexempt compensation, in either our What to Do About Personnel Problems in [Your State] or Employee Compensation in [Your State] programs, both available on a 30-day trial basis.

There are seperate editions available for almost every state. Choose the one that covers your location.

Use the links below for more information on, or to order the survey. For more information or to set up a free trial of either of the state-specific programs, visit

What are Your Competitors Offering in Benefits?
Find out by comparing your company’s benefits to those offered by similar organizations in BLR’s 2007 Survey of Employee Benefits. Comparisons on healthcare, paid time off, insurance, and more, made by region, company size, type of industry, type of employee, etc. When you know the score, you won’t pay more! Only $99. Click for further information.