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Purchasing Consumer Goods via Payroll Deduction

Another voluntary benefit

Many employees say they would be at least somewhat likely to purchase computers (45 percent) and home appliances (37 percent) through payroll deduction at work if the option were available.

A recent nationwide survey of 868 working U.S. adults was conducted in January 2009 on behalf of Purchasing Power, a voluntary benefits provider of employee purchase programs. Among the findings: More than three-fourths (76 percent) of full-time employees who receive employee benefits said they would purchase a desktop, laptop, high-definition television or home appliance (washer, dryer or refrigerator), power tools and/or a lawnmower in the next 12 months if credit or financing were not an issue.

Some employers offer payroll deduction purchase plans as a voluntary benefit that helps employees to acquire high-end consumer goods. With payments taken automatically from employees’ paychecks (the typical pay-back period is 12 months), purchasing programs provide another choice for employees who otherwise would confront high interest rates on credit cards or tight access to credit.

Employees were asked how likely they would be to purchase these items if they could do so through payroll deduction. They responded:

“at least somewhat likely” to buy

“likely or very likely” to buy

Desktop or laptop computer



High-definition television



Home appliance (washer, dryer, refrigerator)



Source: Survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Purchasing Power, Jan. 28-30, 2009

“Providing non-traditional voluntary benefits as part of the benefit package is a logical service employers can offer their employees, especially in today’s economic climate, to help them acquire life-enhancing products should they choose to do so,” without incurring high credit card fees, said Richard Carrano, Purchasing Power president and CFO. “Although it’s a benefit fully paid for by the employee, offering this type of employee benefit helps employers show they care about their employees and want to help. Adding a benefit like this also helps raise employee morale in today’s economic environment.”

Stephen Miller is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Related Articles:

Voluntary Benefits valued by Employees but Few Employers Measure Success, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, February 2006

Voluntary Benefits & Job Satisfaction, SHRM Research, December 2005

Quick Link:

SHRM Online Benefits Discipline

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