US Chamber Puts Employee Benefits at 40.2% of Payroll Expenses

April 28, 2006 ( - The cost of employee benefits in 2004 reached 40.2% of payroll expenses, reflecting a trend of substantial growth in recent years, according to the 2005 Employee Benefits Study recently released by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

According to the study, retirement and savings plan costs saw the sharpest increase, rising from 6.7% to 8% of payroll expenses from 2003 to 2004, according to the study of 720 US companies.

Medically-related expenses remained the greatest share of employee benefit costs at 11.9%. Payments for time not worked, such as paid holidays and paid time off, represented an additional 10.5% of payroll expenditures.

“These results indicate that employers continue to strive to offer good benefits packages to workers, even in the face of increasing costs” said Randel Johnson, Vice President for Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits, in the US Chamber of Commerce news.

The average dollar amount in benefits received by employees from the participating companies increased from $18,358 in 2004 to $20,158 in 2005. Benefit costs, as a percentage of payroll costs, have increased on average close to 1% each year since 2000.

The study can be purchased here .