Benefit Cost Larger Part of Payroll

February 5, 2003 ( - Employee benefit costs made up over a third of company payroll expenses in 2001.

Benefit costs were averaging 39% of total payroll costs among employers surveyed, representing an increase from 37.5% seen in 2000.   Most common among those benefits offered by employers include retirement plans, health insurance, paid vacation, holiday benefits, and life insurance benefits, according to a media release by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The Employee Benefits Study found that out of 400 companies surveyed, medically related payments were the most expensive and the most common benefits offered, accounting for 11% of total gross payout, the largest share of employee benefit costs. Compensation for time off followed closely as the second-largest share of benefits cost to employers, averaging just over 10% of payroll costs, followed by retirement and savings plan shares, which accounted for an average of 8% of payroll.