Employee Benefits in the United States news release text


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, July 24, 2015                                  USDL-15-1432

Technical information:  (202) 691-6199    ncsinfo@bls.gov        www.bls.gov/ebs
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902    pressoffice@bls.gov

                  EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN THE UNITED STATES - MARCH 2015

Retirement benefits were available to 66 percent of private industry workers in the United States in 
March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Employer-provided retirement 
benefits were available to 31 percent of private industry workers in the lowest wage category (the 10th 
percentile). By contrast 88 percent of workers in the highest wage category (the 90th percentile) had 
access to retirement benefits. In state and local government, 61 percent of workers in the lowest wage 
category had access to retirement benefits, compared with 98 percent of workers in the highest wage 
category. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The share of premiums workers were required to pay for their medical coverage varied by bargaining 
status. Private industry nonunion workers were responsible for 23 percent of the total single coverage 
medical premium, whereas the share of premiums for union workers was 13 percent. The share of 
premiums for family coverage was 35 percent for nonunion workers and 16 percent for union workers. 
(See chart 2 and tables 3 and 4.)

These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive 
measures of compensation cost levels and trends as well as incidence and provisions of employee 
benefit plans. 

Additional findings include: 

  *  Full-time workers in state and local government had high rates of access to major benefits: 99 
percent had access to retirement and medical care benefits, and 98 percent to paid sick leave. For 
part-time workers, 39 percent had access to retirement benefits, 24 percent to medical care 
benefits, and 42 percent to paid sick leave. (See tables 1, 2, and 6.)

  *  Paid holidays were provided to 90 percent of full-time and 37 percent of part-time workers in 
private industry. In state and local government, 74 percent of full-time workers and 30 
percent of part-time workers had access. (See table 6 and Technical Note.)

  *  Access to benefits differed among some occupational groups. For private industry, 87 percent 
of workers in management, professional, and related occupations had access to medical care, 
compared with 41 percent in service occupations. In state and local government, the 
corresponding figures were 89 percent and 82 percent, respectively. (See table 2.)

  *  For civilian workers, access rates to medical care ranged from 53 percent for the smallest 
establishments (those with fewer than 50 workers) to 90 percent for the largest establishments 
(those employing 500 workers or more). Access to retirement benefits ranged by establishment 
size from 46 percent to 91 percent. (See tables 1 and 2.) 

  * Access to medical care benefits for private industry workers was 86 percent in goods-
producing industries, compared with 66 percent for workers in service-providing industries. The 
employee share of family medical premiums was 27 percent for workers in goods-producing 
industries and 33 percent for workers in service-providing industries. (See tables 2 and 4.) 

More information can be obtained by calling (202) 691-6199, sending e-mail to ncsinfo@bls.gov, or 
by visiting www.bls.gov/ebs. 


                                               NOTE

More information will be published in September 2015 on the incidence and provisions of health care 
benefits, retirement benefits, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability benefits, paid holidays 
and vacations, and other selected benefits. For the latest benefit publications see www.bls.gov/ebs. 

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Last Modified Date: July 24, 2015