SURVEY SAYS: Most Wanted Benefit Boost

A survey from Accountemps finds the benefits boost, aside from a salary increase, employees would most like this year is more vacation days.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Aside from a salary increase, what workplace benefit boost would you most like this year?”

‘Richer retirement benefits’ was the top selection of responding readers, garnering 31.2% of the vote. This was followed by ‘more vacation days,’ selected by 21.9% of respondents. Nearly 16% of respondents indicated they would like more flexible work hours or more telecommuting, while 6.2% want richer health benefits and 3.1% would appreciate additional perks such as gym membership, on-site daycare or transportation subsidies.

No responding readers selected ‘additional insurance benefits not currently offered by my employer’ or ‘more professional development opportunities.’ Some readers who selected ‘other’ (21.9% total) wrote in more detail about their other choices—“better company match,” “any type of retirement benefits,” “a Rule of 80 that eliminates the ERF in our DB plan,” and “more flexible time during down time.”

‘Other’ responses also included better dental insurance, more sick days and the ability to carry them over, more staff or more competent staff, more competent management, longer paid maternity leave and more flexible return to work options, ability to transition to 3/4 time in the years leading to retirement, on site doggie day care, ability to travel to conferences for training, ability to sell vacation days, on-site massages, “to be relieved of having to generate a set number of billable hours per year when I am not in a position to create my own work,” and “a Congress that is less bent on political points and in actually getting the job done.”

Among posts from readers who chose to make comments were some new benefit ideas—“And a sabbatical every five years would be nice,” “I suppose I can’t hope for a full bar on Friday afternoons?” A few readers indicated there’s nothing aside from a salary increase they want, and a few said they would want all or most of the choices listed.  However, there seems to be a handful satisfied with the benefits/perks at their workplace. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I believe that after years of hard work all individuals deserve a fully funded defined benefit plan that will allow them the right to enjoy their years of retirement.”

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!


I'd like to see a DC plan in addition to better match/ER contributions.

Certain times of the year are crunch times in meeting definite deadlines. There is a lot of overtime worked and not being paid during this crunch time. Once the crunch time is over, I would like to see more flex time given for all the overtime that was worked but not paid for.

I believe that after years of hard work all individuals deserve a fully funded defined benefit plan that will allow them the right to enjoy their years of retirement.

My employer provides many of the workplace benefits noted in this survey; the problem is that because of my position I can't always take advantage of them. The free gym is above my head and I can't make it upstairs. Telecommuting is an option except that I usually need to be in the office, so am here for about 12 hours a day to avoid the worst traffic hours. If I need to take a mid-week day off I work on Saturdays to compensate. Therefore, I want richer retirement benefits - there's got to be a very bright light at the end of my tunnel!

Human Resources doesn't easily lend itself to telecommuting, but flexible work hours could be accommodated. Particularly when you have the majority of the work force on shift work. Seems like a sensible shift, though not against the 9-5 mentality in our office!

I do not currently have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan.

Everything listed in item #1 sounds great, but the reality of the workplace is, that fewer people are handling greater responsibilities, and the vaunted "work life family balance" remains out of reach for many.

I was going to say 'more vacation days', but given the excessive workload I carry, that would just mean I'd stop accruing days sooner.... 🙁


Most of the above, frankly, but we are a small business, and the benefits we have now are already more generous than what similar firms are offering.

Verbatim (cont.)

We currently get 7 sick days a year, which actually are personal days because we can use them to take care of a sick child or other family member or doctor appointments. But they are use them or lose them. I wish we were able to carry them over every year just in case you need surgery some year. I also feel that because they are "use them or lose them" people tend take them when they don't need to in order not to miss out on the benefit.

I think companies should be more liberal about allowing employee unpaid time off. It would be a very minimal expense (maybe having people trained to fill in during an absence - but then the company is only paying one person at a time to do the job). For most exempt jobs - the work is waiting for us when we get back, so why not allow an extra week or two of time off??

I guess I must have great benefits because of none of the choices really strike a chord. I have very good health benefits, a fantastic retirement plan, more vacation days than I can use, fairly flexible work schedule, reserved parking and professional development. A part-time schedule would be nice, but it would need to be accompanied by a part-time workload.

Our DB plan was frozen, so the chances of this are the same as a snow ball's in hell

And a sabbatical every five years would be nice. . .

I'm hoping my company maintains its defined benefit plan - considering that we're a recordkeeper for many DB plans!

I already have most of the benefits on the list and are pleased with them; however, I am at a time in my life when making sure I can retire before they find me dead of old age at my desk is a bit of a priority

Although better health benefits comes in a direct 2nd, most people want a good retirement plan.

I know pay was not one of the choices but that is what I really need. I haven't received a raise in several years. Being a single homeowner it is impossible to make ends meet on just one income.

What I would really like is for the company to unfreeze the DB plan and make up the "lost" pay credits from 2012; but that won't happen. How about on-site doggie day care (we work in an industrial park). It's justifiable under "wellness" benefits since walking your dog during the day has documented health benefits.

Verbatim (cont.)

I suppose I can't hope for a full bar on Friday afternoons?

From my perspective the story showed exactly what is "wrong" - the management thought they knew it all but really had no concept of what employees need/want. Any of the above choices would be good changes, depending upon what your company already offers. The real problem is that executive management doesn't care about employees when making decisions and implementing change, only the bottom line. Making the bottom line better by depriving employees seems to be the method of choice at most companies. All the rhetoric in the world doesn't disguise that fact or fool the employees. And adding benefits only upper management want and can benefit from while having no money for wage increases for the general workforce is a slap in the face to the rank and file!

There is no aside from, a salary increase would be most appreciated.

Working from home in my jammies one day a week would make me smile.

Higher employer match on our 403(b) plan.

Scarce time off will be the reason I retire early. I like my job, but not the chintzy PTO policy.

Lower deductibles in HDHP offerings.

I work for an awesome employer with great benefits, good pay, and a very collegial work environment. And I telecommute 100% of the time. However, I am expected to bill x hours per year, even though my projects are assigned to me by others and I am not in a position to generate my own billable work. Plus, I have been doing this work for over 30 years now, so I work quickly and accurately. Why doesn't that count for something? Being an outstanding employee no longer counts as much as putting in tons of overtime...

Vacation - More time away from my job so I can look for a new one -

Other than health insurance is getting too expensive, I can't really complain about our benefits. They are great! What I really would like is less government regulation in everything we do as it is really adding to the workload, without additional staff!

Verbatim (cont.)

All the benefit stuff is nice but look what benefit packages have done to the cost of funding local, state, and federal governments. It's not sustainable.

Within three years of retirement

And, I would also like to be able to take the vacation days I have earned but my current workload is precluding that option!

Our 401K match was halted at mid-point of the year - would like to see the company not touch that benefit going forward

Ironic you used the word "appreciate". So true, how soon we forget just a few short years ago we we're "glad I have a job". Seems the iwants and owesmes are back in town.

We have healthcare with a $5000 deductible. Seriously? Good thing I'm not sick!

I don't get a chance to use the vacation days I have, and am fairly healthy, knock on wood, so weekly or monthly massages on site would be great....


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.