Smaller Employers Still Back Worker Benefits

September 15, 2004 ( - Small and midsize employers anticipate maintaining or expanding their benefits offerings in the next two years, according to a new survey.

The research by Employee Benefit News magazine and Genworth Financial found that 99% of the employers surveyed offer an employee medical plan and 12% give employees a choice of more than one medical insurance company as their provider.

“The study delivered a surprising burst of good news within a still-uncertain economic landscape,” said Rone Baldwin, president of Genworth Financial’s Employee Benefits Group, in a news release. “Employers continue to be committed to offering a wide range of benefits to employees. However, employers are looking for ways to more closely manage benefit costs – without discontinuing quality benefits packages for valued employees.”

Other key findings of the EBN-Genworth Survey include:

  • Eighty-three percent of small businesses offer a company match toward 401K retirement plans.
  • The average premium percentage small business employees must bear for medical coverage is 19% for single coverage and 39% for family coverage.
  • Some benefits costs are being shifted to small business employees – over half of the firms surveyed are now offering some form of “voluntary benefits” (or benefits fully paid by employees) or are “very interested ” in them.
  • More than 80% of businesses surveyed offer life, disability and retirement benefits.

The survey polled more than 500 benefits decision makers at firms with 10 to 500 employees between April and July this year. More survey information is at .