Data Shows Dominance of DC Plans in Private Industry

December 7, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $30.11 per hour worked in September 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

Wages and salaries averaged $20.91 per hour worked and accounted for 69.4% of these costs, while benefits averaged $9.21 and accounted for the remaining 30.6%.  

The data made clear that defined contribution retirement plans are the dominant retirement benefit in private industry, and defined benefit plans are the dominant retirement benefit for state and local government workers.  

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $28.24 per hour worked in September 2011. Of that cost, benefits accounted for 29.5%. Private industry employers spent 2% of compensation costs on defined contribution retirement benefits, while state and local government employers spent only 0.8% of compensation costs on DC benefits.    

On the other hand, defined benefit retirement benefits accounted for 1.6% of private industry employers’ costs, but accounted for 7.6% of state and local government compensation costs.  

The data also showed that health benefits accounted for 7.6% of compensation costs in private industry and 11.6% of costs in state and local government.  

According to the BLS report, state and local government employers spent an average of $40.76 per hour worked for employee compensation in September 2011. Wages and salaries averaged $26.57 per hour and 65.2% of compensation costs, while benefits averaged $14.19 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 34.8%.  

The BLS report is available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf.

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