Data pulled together by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) showed that the lion’s share of that money ($5 trillion or 82%) went to wages and salaries while benefits ate up the rest ($1 trillion or 17.2%).
EBRI said that of the $1 trillion in benefits, $483.7 billion went for retirement – up from the $292.9 billion in 1990. During 2002, employers spent 46.9% of their total benefits dollars on retirement, down slightly from the 50.2% spent in 1990.
Private employers shelled out $124.1 billion in 2002 for retirement benefits other than social security, up from $55.3 billion in 1980. Meanwhile governments spent $38 billion on retirement benefits other than social security in 2002 – up from $33 billion in 1990.
Not surprisingly, health-care spending has eaten up increasing chunks of benefits budgets, according to EBRI. In 2002, 43.2% went to health benefits – up from the 36.3% in 1990. However, the increases in heath coverage costs have slowed in recent years – growing 7.4% in 2002, compared to -4.9% in 1997.
The EBRI data is at http://www.ebri.org/facts/0504fact.pdf .