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Employers cutting back on health care and welfare, housing and relocation,
and business travel benefits
NEW ORLEANS –
Though U.S. employers continue to offer an extensive selection of employee benefits, 60 percent of HR professionals say the recession has caused their organizations to scale back or hold steady on benefit offerings.
The findings, released yesterday by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at its
61st Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, are detailed in the
SHRM 2009 Employee Benefits Survey Report.
“The recession plus rising health care costs are causing companies to evaluate all operating costs closely, even employee benefits, where a reduction in some benefits is required to survive the economic crisis,” said SHRM President and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil.
Compared to 2008, fewer organizations this year are providing housing and relocation, business travel, and other employee benefits. Health care and welfare benefits showed a relatively small decrease while family-friendly benefits showed fewer offerings for elder care referral services and adoption assistance.
Key findings from the survey include:
other benefits category saw declines in several types of coverage with more expected before year end.HR professionals reported fewer companies offering: noncash, companywide performance awards; community volunteer program benefits; and discount ticket services. Also, a number of organizations report plans to reduce or eliminate holiday parties, company picnics, and company-purchased tickets to events during 2009.
HR professionals report that 20 percent of payroll for mandatory benefits, 19 percent for voluntary benefits, and 11 percent for paid leave benefits.
The survey, published annually by SHRM since 1996, gathers information on 10 employee benefits categories. The 2009 survey provides data on 274 different benefits and highlights responses from 522 randomly selected HR professional who are members of SHRM.
Colonial Life is the exclusive sponsor of the SHRM 2009 Employee Benefits Survey Report. The company is based in Columbia, South Carolina.
To read this and other SHRM surveys, please visit:
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at
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