USA Employee Benefits in Private Industry, 2006: Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey

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August, 2006 – Seventy-one percent of workers in private industry had access to employer-sponsored medical care plans, and 52 percent participated in medical care plans in March 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Sixty percent of workers had access to retirement benefits, with 51 percent participating in at least one type of retirement plan. These findings are from the Summary, “National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2006,” published today. These results can be found on the BLS Web site

These data are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which provides comprehensive measures of occupational earnings, compensation cost trends, and details of benefit provisions. In addition to health and retirement plans, the survey also covered paid leave, disability insurance, and other selected benefits. The following are some of the major findings:

  • Most employees covered by medical care plans were in plans requiring employee contributions for both single coverage and family coverage. Employee contributions to medical care premiums averaged $296.88 per month for family coverage and $76.05 per month for single coverage.
  • Employer premiums for medical care plans averaged $617.18 a month per participant for family coverage and $266.50 a month for single coverage. Employer contributions were higher for those employees who were not required to contribute than for those who were.
  • Fifty-one percent of employees participated in a retirement plan. Twenty-percent of employees participated in defined benefit retirement plans, and 43 percent in defined contribution plans. (Some employees participate in both types.)
  • Paid leave was the most commonly provided employee benefit in the private sector: paid holidays were available to 76 percent of employees and paid vacations to 77 percent.

The release and Summary Report are available on the BLS Internet site,

Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance notes that Health premiums for a family tops $10,000 yearly.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found that among employers with at least 100 employees, monthly premiums for family coverage averaged $913.75, or $10,965 on an annual basis.
Of the $913.75 monthly premium, employers, on average, pay $652.34 and employees pay $261.41.
For single coverage, the total monthly premium among employers with at least 100 employees averages $330.55�or nearly $4,000 a year�with employers paying, on average, $259.51 and employees chipping in $71.04. ”

The survey is based on information collected from 10,370 employers.