Teachers, Government Workers, Non-Profit Employees Get More Benefits

December 7, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Those working for educational institutions, government agencies and non-profit groups may get less in their paychecks, but they actually do better in their benefit levels.

A news release from Mercer Human Resource Consulting about the firm’s 2004 Spotlight on Benefits Report indicates that large non-profit organizations (including civic and professional associations, religious organizations, national charitable organizations, and major foundations) offer the highest level of total benefits at 128% of the market median. That is followed by government employers at 127% of the market median and education employers at 121% of the market median, according to the announcement.

On the for-profit side, the highest benefit levels can be found in the utilities (117% of market median), mining (114%), and insurance (109%) industries. Among the least generous in benefit provision are accommodation and food services (64%), retail (75%), and wholesale (75%).

Geography also plays a central role in determining benefit levels, although these patterns have shifted slightly in recent years. Different by geography is less than it was just three years ago. While Northeastern US firms still offer the highest overall benefit levels, these levels have slipped from 111% of market median to 108% of market median since 2001. Meanwhile, employers in the North Central states also have seen a drop – in their case from 102% to 97%.

At the same time, employers in three other regions have seen their numbers climb over this same time period: Southeast (from 93% to 98%), South Central (from 92% to 95%), and West Coast (from 90% to 96%).

“While it is necessary for employers to develop their benefit programs based on their unique business and human capital needs, they also need to understand how their organization’s benefit programs stack up against other organizations in the same industry or geographic location,” said Kent Gregory, the Mercer consultant who oversees the Spotlight on Benefits Report. “Having this kind of comparative benefits information helps employers stay competitive for top talent.”

The study analyzes the benefit programs of more than 1,000 large US employers.

Nonparticipants can purchase the 2004 report for $450 by calling 800 333 3070 or by visiting www.imercer.com .