Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employee retirement and savings benefits higher for union workers

August 28, 2003

In private industry, retirement and savings benefits costs in June 2003 were higher for union workers than for nonunion workers, both in dollar amount per hour ($1.76 versus 55 cents) and as a share of total compensation (5.6 percent versus 2.5 percent).

Employer costs per hour for employee retirement and savings benefits, private industry, by bargaining status and industry group, June 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Retirement and savings costs were higher in goods-producing industries than in service-producing industries for both union and nonunion workers.

The average cost in private industry for all workers (union and nonunion) for retirement and savings benefits was 67 cents per hour worked in June 2003. The average cost per hour worked for defined benefit plans, retirement plans that specify a benefit typically based on age, years of service, and earnings, was 26 cents. The average cost for defined contribution plans, retirement plans based on employer contributions to individual employee accounts, was 42 cents per hour worked.

These data are from the BLS Compensation Cost Trends program. Find out more in Employer Costs for Employee Compensation-June 2003 (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-446. Retirement and savings benefits include defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Goods-producing industries include mining, construction, and manufacturing. Service-producing industries include transportation, communication, and public utilities; wholesale and retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and service industries.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employee retirement and savings benefits higher for union workers at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/aug/wk4/art04.htm (visited January 18, 2022).

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