Last week, SHRM released its 2016 Employee Benefits Survey, a recap of the past two decades. This year’s survey sampled almost 3500 Human Resource professionals about 300 benefits to take the pulse of current offerings and to compare U.S. benefit trends over the past 20 years.

Probably the biggest change over 20 years is the explosion in telecommuting and associated benefits, which have seen a threefold increase over 20 years.

Another recent trend is that more organizations are offering monetary bonus benefits such as employee referral bonuses, spot/bonus awards, sign-on bonuses and retention bonuses.

Among other key findings:

  • The percentage of organizations offering health savings accounts (HSAs) increased from 43 to 50 percent in the past year.
  • Wellness resources, which have been on the rise over the past several years, are now leveling off. Some individual wellness resources are changing as employers determine which wellness benefits best fit their workforce.
  • Sixty percent of organizations reported that the level of benefits they offer has remained the same in the past 12 months.
  • The percentage of organizations offering a stand-alone sick leave program increased from 33 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2016. These changes may be due to local and state legislation requiring paid sick leave for employees.
  • Overall, of the organizations that offer paid leave, 5 percent provide employees with some type of unlimited leave: 4 percent offer it as paid leave and 1 percent as unpaid leave.
  • Nearly one-quarter of organizations (23 percent) provide health care services such as diagnoses, treatment or prescriptions by phone or video.
  • Four percent of employers offer student loan repayment.

See more in the Executive Summary (PDF) or get the Full report (PDF). For an excellent recap, see Stephen Miller’s write up in Conference Today: Past Two Decades Saw Big Shifts in Employee Benefits 



Media coverage:

Why the buffet of employee benefits has exploded over the past 20 years
Jena McGregor, Washington Post

Telecommuting Up, Wellness Down
Jack Robinson, HRE Daily

SHRM releases 20-year recap of employee benefits industry

Telecommuting, bonuses, professional development on the rise
Employee Benefit Advisor

These workplace benefits are slowly fading away
Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney
Far more employers used to offer subsidized childcare, mortgage assistance and employee stock purchase plans than they do today.

The Good, Bad and Very Bad Benefits News for Older Workers
Cali Williams Yost, Next Avenue
What a deep dive into a new workplace report reveals


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