Benefits in US remain steady from 2004


Benefits in US remain steady from 2004

Despite rising healthcare costs, most US organisations continue to offer competitive benefit packages to employees, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

As many as 69% of the respondents indicated that the costs of their organisation’ s voluntary benefits, including health care and retirement, had remained about the same, compared with 2004, but 28% reported that the costs of these benefits increased. 

However, despite increasing costs, it does not appear as though many organisations eliminated health care or prescription drug coverage, which often account for most of the cost increases to benefits. 

Summary of key survey findings

  • Dependent care flexible spending accounts increased from 73% in 2004 to 79% in 2005.
  • Domestic benefits for same-sex partners increased to 32% from 27% last year, while opposite-sex partner benefits at 33% remained about the same.
  • Vision insurance increased from 71% to 80%.
  • Prescription drug coverage remained at 97%.
  • On-site vaccinations fell to 56% from 60%.
  • Organisations offering paid family leave increased from 24% to 30%.
  • 93% of organisations continued to offer professional development opportunities to their employees.

The SHRM Benefits Survey offers a comprehensive look at what benefits are being offered by US organisations. Information is provided on the following benefits: health care, family-friendly, housing, personal service, financial, travel and leave.

Want to know more?

Title: SHRM Benefits Survey 2005, Society for Human Resource Management.

Survey sample: The survey of 386 human resources (HR) professionals covers 219 benefits offered by employers and tracks trends over the past five years.

Availability: Please contact the SHRM customer service centre at or (800) 283-7476 option 3 (US Only), +1 (703) 548-3440 option 3 (Intl.).

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the "world’ s largest association devoted to human resource management".  Representing more than 200,000 individual members, the Society's mission is to "serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive resources available".  Visit SHRM online at

Posted 1 July 2005