Employee Benefits in the United States news release text


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, July 22, 2016                                  USDL-16-1493

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 2016

The participation rate for employer-sponsored medical care benefits for civilian workers was 52 percent 
in March 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The participation rate was 49 percent 
for private industry workers and 73 percent for state and local government workers. (See tables A and 2, 
and chart 1.) 

The participation rate for employer-sponsored retirement benefits, which include defined benefit and 
defined contribution plans, was 54 percent for civilian workers. The participation rate was 49 percent for 
private industry workers and 81 percent for state and local government workers. Differences in 
retirement plan participation are influenced by the type of plan offered. (See tables A and 1, chart 1, and 
the technical note.) 

Fifty-seven percent of civilian workers participated in employer-sponsored life insurance benefits.  The 
participation rate for private industry workers was 54 percent and 78 percent for state and local 
government workers. (See tables A and 5, and chart 1.)

The share of single coverage medical care premiums paid by employees averaged 19 percent for civilian 
workers, 21 percent for private industry workers, and 13 percent for state and local government workers. 
(See table 3 and chart 2.)  

These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive 
measures of compensation cost levels and trends and also provides benefits incidence data on the 
percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-provided benefit plans. The survey 
covers a broad range of benefits including holidays and vacations, sick leave, life insurance, and detailed 
provisions for health care and retirement plans. Archived NCS news releases are available at 
www.bls.gov/ncs/ncspubs.htm. 

Table A. Selected employer-sponsored benefits: Access, participation and take-up rates1, March 2016
(All workers = 100 percent)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Benefit                     Civilian                      Private industry            State and local government   
                  Access  Participation  Take-up   Access  Participation  Take-up   Access  Participation  Take-up 
                                         rates                            rates                            rates   
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retirement         69          54          78        66         49          75        90         81          90
Medical care       70          52          75        67         49          73        88         73          83
Life insurance     59          57          98        55         54          98        80         78          98
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1 For definitions of major plans, key provisions, and related terms, see the "Glossary of Employee Benefit Terms" at 
www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/glossary20152016.htm and the technical note. 

Highlights of employer-sponsored benefits for civilian workers by worker characteristics:
  *  Access to retirement benefits for major occupational groups ranged from 47 percent for service 
workers to 84 percent for management, professional, and related workers. (See table 1.)
  *  Access to medical care benefits was 88 percent of full-time workers and 19 percent for part-time 
workers. (See table 2.)
  *  Access to life insurance benefits was 85 percent for union workers and 54 percent for nonunion 
workers. (See table 5.)
  *  For workers with an average wage in the lowest 25 percent category, 41 percent had access to 
paid sick leave, 51 percent had access to paid vacations, and 53 percent had access to paid 
holidays. For workers with an average wage in the highest 25 percent category, 87 percent had 
access to paid sick leave, 79 percent had access to paid vacations, and 83 percent had access to 
paid holidays. (See table 6.)

Highlights of employer-sponsored benefits for civilian workers by establishment characteristics:
  *  Access to retirement benefits by establishment size ranged from 53 percent for workers in 
establishments with 1 to 99 workers to 86 percent for workers in establishments with 100 
workers or more. (See table 1.)
  *  Eighty-four percent of civilian workers in goods-producing industries had access to medical care 
benefits. For workers in service-providing industries, the access rate to medical care benefits was 
68 percent. (See table 2.)
  *  The access rate for life insurance for workers by Census region was 51 percent in the West, 59 
percent in the Northeast, 61 percent in the South, and 62 percent in the Midwest. (See table 5.) 
  *  For workers in establishments with 1 to 99 workers, the access rate was 56 percent for paid sick 
leave, 68 percent for paid vacations, and 69 percent for paid holidays. For workers in 
establishments with 100 or more workers, the access rate was 79 percent for paid sick leave, 79 
percent for paid vacations, and 82 percent for paid holidays. (See table 6.)

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

                                 Additional Data Available Fall 2016

More information will be published September 23, 2016 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. 

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: July 22, 2016