Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2015

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press release, USDL-15-1432, July 24, 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. 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….

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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.