Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Employers Cutting Workplace Benefits

There is an interesting article in today's Chicago Tribune on the decline of workplace benefits. According to the article, traditional pension plans, paid family leave, and even the company picnic are all on the decline, as employers have significantly cut many of the benefits they offer to workers over the past five years. Here is a look at the workplace perks that have significantly declined since 2007. Some of the traditional workplace perks that have declined over the past few years include:

Traditional (i.e., defined benefit) pension plans. Traditional pensions were offered at 40 percent of the companies surveyed in 2007. Now just 22 percent of firms provide access to a retirement plan that guarantees payments for life.

Retiree health care coverage. The proportion of companies offering retiree health insurance declined from 35 percent in 2007 to 25 percent in 2011.

Long-term care insurance. Just over a quarter of employers provide long-term care insurance for workers, down from 46 percent in 2007.

HMOs. The number of companies with HMOs decreased from 48 percent in 2007 to 33 percent today.

Paid family leave. A third of companies offered paid family leave in 2007, but now only a quarter of companies provide paid time off for births, deaths, and other significant family events.

Adoption assistance. Adoption assistance is another waning employer benefit, with just 8 percent of companies helping with adoption costs, down from 20 percent five years ago.

Professional development opportunities. While nearly all (96 percent) companies paid for professional development opportunities in 2007, only 87 percent will in 2011.
Life insurance for dependents. About half (55 percent) of companies provide life insurance for children and other dependents, down from 65 percent in 2007

Incentive bonus plans. Incentive bonus plans for high-level employees are down 10 percentage points since 2007.

Casual dress day. Only about half (55 percent) of employers say they encourage or allow employees to dress casually one day per week, down from 66 percent in 2007. Legal assistance. One in five companies provides legal assistance or services to workers, down from a third of employers five years ago.

The company picnic. Only about half (55 percent) of firms scheduled a company picnic in 2011, down from 64 percent in 2007.

See http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/tribu/ct-tribu-benefits-disappearing-story,0,7928170.story for the full article.