There’s no doubt that the economy in the United States has improved a bit since the recession but, unfortunately, there are still many companies around the United States that are continuing to cut employee benefits. According to a survey performed by the Society for Human Resource Management, benefits including educational assistance, pensions, health insurance, long-term care insurance and so forth, are continuing to be either reduced or removed by many companies. Their survey included 510 human resource professionals from around the country, and those professionals gave some insight into the types of programs that are being cut.
One of the first is pensions and, according to the survey, less than a quarter of employers continue to provide this traditional savings plan to their employees. At 89%, 401(k)s are available to many more employees and almost 75% of employers will contribute to these retirement accounts. Still, the fact that less than a quarter of all employers around the country are giving their employees the opportunity to have a pension is definitely something to be concerned about.
Health insurance and long-term care insurance are also being cut by many employers across the country. The fact is, ever since the cost of retiree health benefits was brought to the awareness of major companies, those companies have begun to control their exposure risk, and that means offering less of both types of insurance. Also dropping is the number of employers that will give loans to their employees to help them with emergencies or disasters. In 2010 it was 18% but it’s dropped in the last four years to 12%.
In 2010 12% of all companies were offering help to their employees to pay for college costs but, in the last four years, that’s dropped 8% to 54%. Paying for cross-training to help employees develop skills has also dropped, as well as paying things like professional memberships, referral services and company sponsored 529 plans, all of which are dropping as well.
If you’re a parent working for a large company in the United States, you probably already know that the percentage of employers offering dependent care flexible spending accounts is falling as well. On-site vaccinations, childcare referral services and other services put in place to help parents with their child rearing duties have fallen precipitously over the last few years.
As important as it is for parents to have help with their child-rearing duties, it’s also important to help care for elderly family members. The fact is however that referral services for the elderly are only being offered by 5% of employers across the country, and only 1% are offering geriatric counseling.
Other employee benefits and services like on-site health services, cash outs for vacation time, discount tickets to things like sporting events, concerts and even company sports teams have all seen major reductions over the last few years as companies big and small try to reduce their overhead, cut costs and increase profits.
All of which means that, when searching for a new company to work for, doing your due diligence to find out what they offer, and don’t, is vitally important.