Survey Finds Decrease in Financial Services Benefits Offered in 2007

June 26, 2007 ( - While benefits offered by employers remained mostly the same in 2007 as in 2006, there was a slight decrease in the number of organizations that offered financial services benefits to employees, according to the Society for Human Resources Management's (SHRM) 2007 Benefits Survey.

A press release on the survey results said SHRM found a decrease in individual investment advice and retirement planning services offered by employers in 2007. Other benefits that decreased in 2007 included automobile allowances/expenses, traditional defined benefit pension plans, full flexible benefits plans, employee discounts on company services, and commissions and loans to employees for emergency/disaster assistance.

The number of organizations offering traditional pension plans decreased from 48% to 40%, according to the release.

SHRM found the most commonly offered benefits were direct deposit of paychecks, paid holidays, professional development opportunities, payroll deductions, prescription drug program coverage and dental insurance. In addition, almost all survey participants offered some type of health insurance plan.

HR respondents indicated they planned within the next year to add wellness programs in coming benefit packages including weight loss programs (5%), smoking cessation programs (6%), health screening programs (5%), and health care premium discounts for getting an annual health risk assessment (6%).

Other survey findings, according to the release, were:

  • Vision insurance increased from 73% to 79% (down from 80% in 2005).
  • Transit subsidies increased 13% to 16% at the same time that auto allowances/expenses decreased from 60% to 49%.
  • Telecommuting programs increased from 26% to 33% for part-time; 45% to 48% for ad hoc; and 19% to 21% for full time.
  • Fitness center membership subsidy/reimbursement dropped from 37% to 30%.
  • Programs for employees to bring a child to the office in emergency situations increased from 22% to 29%.
  • Programs for a weekly casual dress day increased from 62% to 66%, at the same time that daily casual business attire decreased from 38% to 37%.
  • 70% of organizations in 2007 provided an employee prenatal program in comparison to 82% in 2006.
  • More than three out of four HR professionals (76%) indicated that their organizations offered dependent care flexible spending accounts.

A full copy of survey results can be obtained by SHRM members at .