15 Workplace Benefits That Are Dying Out

More benefits have seen significant decreases than significant increases over the past two decades, a new report finds.

Some employee benefits appear to be slowly waning.

More benefits have seen significant decreases than significant increases over the past two decades, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 20th annual benefits report, released today.

Notably, although monetary bonuses have become more common over the past five years, several other types of financial benefits have grown more scarce over the past 20 years.

Credit union membership, for example, is now offered by fewer than one-third as many organizations as it was two decades back.

Benefits that the SHRM considers to have seen “significant” decreases since 1996 include:

  1. Health care premium flexible spending account: 54 percent to 39 percent
  2. Credit union membership: 70 percent to 23 percent
  3. Employee discounts on company services: 43 percent to 32 percent
  4. Onsite health screening programs: 53 percent to 31 percent
  5. Temporary relocation benefits: 39 percent to 24 percent
  6. Matching employee charitable contributions: 30 percent to 21 percent
  7. Loans to employees for emergency/disaster assistance: 27 percent to 13 percent
  8. Unpaid sabbatical program: 27 percent to 12 percent
  9. Elder care referral service: 17 percent to 12 percent
  10. Parking subsidy: 25 percent to 10 percent
  11. Job sharing: 24 percent to 10 percent
  12. Employee stock purchase plan: 28 percent to 9 percent
  13. Spouse relocation employment assistance: 22 percent to 7 percent
  14. Mortgage assistance: 12 percent to 4 percent
  15. Vacation purchase plan: 11 percent to 4 percent

One increasing benefit that the SHRM highlights is telecommuting — offered by triple the number of employers today compared with 20 years ago.

Tanya Mulvey, SHRM’s project lead for the 2016 benefits report, notes:

“Flexible work arrangements should be considered a means of attracting and retaining workers. These benefits have proven to be highly valued among two sizable demographic groups: Millennials and 55-and-older employees.”

Benefits considered to have seen “significant” increases since 1996 include:

  1. Professional memberships: 65 percent to 88 percent
  2. Professional development opportunities: 75 percent to 86 percent
  3. Wellness resources and information: 54 percent to 72 percent
  4. Telecommuting: 20 percent to 60 percent
  5. Legal assistance/services: 13 percent to 25 percent

The most common type of retirement savings plan today is a traditional 401(k) or similar defined-contribution plan, offered by 90 percent of organizations surveyed. Three-fourths of organizations match employee contributions to such plans.

The most common type of health care coverage is preferred-provider organization plans, offered by 84 percent of organizations.

What’s your take on benefits today? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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