Related BLS programs | Related articles
August 1982, Vol. 105, No. 8
Disability benefits for employees
in private pension plans
Donald Bell and William Wiatrowski
Although private plans are thought of primarily as a source of cash income for the elderly, they typically serve other functions as well. For example, they usually contain early retirement features and often provide pensions to workers who lose their jobs because of disability.
The high proportion of pension plans with disability retirement features is dramatized in data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' annual survey of the incidence and characteristics of employee benefit plans in medium and large establishments.1 Of the 1,002 private pension plans found in the 1980 survey, 86 percent had disability retirement features.2 This article analyzes the various eligibility requirements for disability retirement and typical benefit levels, as found in these plans.
This excerpt is from an article published in the August 1982 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (485K)
1 The survey is conducted in a sample designed to to represent all private sector establishments in the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, employing at least 50, 100, or 250 workers, depending on the industry. Industrial coverage includes: mining, construction; manufacturing; transportation, communication, electric, gas, and sanitary services; wholesale and retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and selected services. For additional details on the survey, see Employee Benefits in Industry, 1980, Bulletin 2107 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1981). See also Robert Frumkin and William Wiatrowski, "Bureau of Labor Statistics takes a new look at employee benefits" in this issue of the Review.
While the bulletin contains information for a universe of employees, data tabulation in this article are simple counts of the number of pension plans containing the characteristics under analysis. This data relate solely to the specific plans included in the study. No attempt has been made to project findings to the entire universe of pension plans.
2 For an independent source of data on the incidence of disability retirement plans, see Jonathan Sunshine, Disability, Office of Management and Budget Staff Technical Paper, 1979, p. 113. An earlier BLS study of disability benefits, which excluded both related long-term disability insurance and deferred disability benefits, is reported in Stanley S. Sacks, "Disability Benefits Under Private Pension Plans," Monthly Labor Review, April 1966, pp. 389-95.
Related BLS programs
Employee Benefits Survey
Related Monthly Labor Review articles
Persons with disabilities: Labor market activity, 1994.—Sep. 1998.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers