Employers maintain a competitive edge by the benefit packages they provide to their prospective employees. When searching for employment, job-seekers both single and married, not only look at salary, but the entire benefit package including insurances, paid time off and retirement and pension plans.
With the rising costs of health insurance, it is difficult for most small businesses to keep up with some of the larger companies´ benefits. However, there are a number of alternatives available which we will be discussing in the days ahead.
According to the Employee Benefits in Private Industry Report released by the U.S. Department of Labor´s Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 24, 2005, seventy percent of private industry workers had access to employer-sponsored medical care plans with 53 percent participating in medical care plans in March 2005. Retirement benefits were available to sixty percent of workers with 50 percent participating in at least one type of retirement plan.
These findings are from the Summary, “National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2005,” published August 24, 2005. You may view these results on the BLS Web site
The National Compensation Survey (NCS), provides comprehensive measures of occupational earnings, compensation cost trends, and details of benefit provisions. In addition to health and retirement plans, the survey also covered paid leave, disability insurance, and other benefits. Some of the major findings are as follows:
Employee contributions were required for both single coverage and family coverage in most cases. Employee contributions to medical care premiums averaged $273.03 per month for family coverage; and $68.96 per month for single coverage.
Employer premiums for medical care plans averaged $575.77 a month per participant for family coverage, and $252.22 for single coverage. Employer contributions were higher for those employees who were not required to contribute than for those who were.
Twenty-one percent of employees participated in defined benefit retirement plans, and 42 percent in defined contribution plans, with some employees participating in both plan types.
The most commonly provided employee benefit in the private sector was paid leave, including paid holidays and vacations which were available to 77 percent of employees, paid jury duty available to 69 percent of workers and paid military leave benefits to forty-eight percent of the workers.
It is my belief that employees will remain loyal to the companies who show appreciation for their excellent work performance. As I mentioned previously, many companies simply cannot afford to provide, in particular, health insurance to their employees. However, they can offer birthday gift cards, paid time off including holiday pay; gift certificates"?¦any small gesture will mean so much. Just remember, a little appreciation goes a long way.
"He profits most who serves best." ~ Arthur F. Sheldon