Related BLS programs | Related articles
July 2011, Vol. 134, No. 7
What is a benefit plan? Clarifying the NCS definition as health and retirement benefits evolve
Keenan Dworak-Fisher and William J. Wiatrowski
Keenan Dworak-Fisher and William J. Wiatrowski are economists in the Office of Compensation and Working Conditions at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
As health and retirement benefits change, measuring employee benefits has become more complex; accordingly, the BLS National Compensation Survey's definition of what constitutes a plan may require a conceptual change to provide data users with a better understanding of today's benefits
Tracking employee benefits can be more difficult than tracking other economic or labor activities. While news releases of the Bureau of Labor Statistics often highlight a single statistic or concept—for example, the overall unemployment rate or the change in the Consumer Price Index—data on employee benefits donít easily lend themselves to one number. BLS does report both the employer costs for benefits and the quarterly and annual change in those costs. For instance, private sector benefit costs increased 2.9 percent from December 2009 to December 2010; employer costs for benefits in December 2010 were $8.11 per hour worked for private industry workers. But such numbers provide only one perspective—that of employer costs.
Download full article in PDF
National Compensation Survey
401(k) plans move away from employer stock as investment vehicle.—Nov. 2008.
Employer generosity in employer-matched 401(k) plans, 2002-03.—Sept. 2007.
Trends in retirement plan coverage over the last decade.—Feb. 2006.
New statistics for health insurance from the National Compensation Survey—Aug. 2004.
Defining participation in defined contribution pension plans—Aug. 2003.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers