September 1997

Employee Benefit Averages

Health Insurance Benefits

  • Average cost per employee of health insurance in 1996 was $4,332. This is an increase of 5.2 percent from 1993, when the average cost per employee was $4,117.
  Average group premium
by plan type
Average employee contribution
to the premium as a percentage
of the premium, by plan type
  1993 1996 1993 1996
Traditional Indemnity
Individual coverage $2,040 $2,090 24% 24%
Family coverage 5,292 5,388 33 32
Group/Staff Health Maintenance
Organization (HMO)
Individual coverage 1,896 1,883 23 22
Family coverage 5,064 5,071 33 33
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
Individual coverage 2,172 2,173 24 24
Family coverage 5,448 5,377 31 36
Point-of-Service (POS)
Individual coverage 2,232 2,058 19 22
Family coverage 6,360 5,477 35 34
  • Average out-of-pocket limits, including deductible, coinsurance, and other co-payments, for employees in a traditional indemnity plan were
  1988 1995
Individual coverage $ 957 $1,358
Family coverage 2,004 2,858

Retirement Income Benefits

  • Average age of retirement
    Men Women
1955-1960   65.7 66.1
1965-1970   64.2 64.2
1975-1980   63.0 63.2
1985-1990   62.6 62.8

Defined Benefit Plans

  • The average formula used to calculate a pension benefit is a terminal earnings formula -- 54 percent of defined benefit plan participants in medium and large private establishments participated in a plan with a terminal earnings formula benefit calculation in 1995. A terminal earnings formula usually designates the 5 consecutive years with the highest earnings out of the last 10 years before retirement. Terminal earnings formulas frequently have benefit formulas that vary according to service, earnings, or a combination of these two factors.
  • The average vesting schedule used in a defined benefit plan among private-sector employers is cliff vesting, with full vesting after five years of service at any age. In 1995, 84 percent of defined benefit plan participants in medium and large private establishments participated in a defined benefit plan with a five-year cliff vesting schedule.
  • Average pension benefit in 1995, by income quintile:
First quintile (equal to or less than $6,301) $ 2,574
Second quintile ($6,302-$9,316) 3,248
Third quintile ($9,317-$13,808) 5,535
Fourth quintile ($13,809-$22,253) 11,595
Fifth quintile (equal to or greater than $22,254) 24,748

Defined Contribution Plans

  • Profit-sharing and savings and thrift plans are the most common types of defined contribution plans. In 1993, there were 477,054 of these plan types in the private sector, accounting for 77.1 percent of all private-sector defined contribution plans.

401(k) Plans

  • The average employer match in 1995 was $0.50 per $1.00 of the first 6 percent of pay.
  • The average actual deferral percentage (ADP) for highly compensated employees in 1995 was 6.1 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for non-highly compensated employees.
  • In 1993, the average service requirement to participate in a 401(k) plan was 11.0 months for full-time employees in medium and large private establishments.

Social Security

  • The average age of first-time benefit award in 1995 was 63.7 for men and 63.5 for women.
  • The number of persons ages 65 and older receiving Social Security benefits rose from 29.4 million in 1990 to 31.4 million in 1995, a 7 percent increase.
  • Beneficiaries ages 85 and older increased at a greater rate (19 percent) during the period from 1990 to 1995: from 3 million to 3.6 million.
  • In 1995, the number of persons ages 100 and older who were receiving Social Security benefits was 37,400.
  • The average monthly benefit in December 1995 was $720 for retired workers, $682 for disabled workers, and $680 for nondisabled widows and widowers.

Leave Benefits

  Medium and Large
Private Establishments
State and Local
Governments
Small Private
Establishments
 
Tenure Average number of vacation days granted per year, by tenure
1 year 9.6 12.3 7.8
5 years 13.9 15.3 11.5
10 years 16.9 18.3 13.4
15 years 18.9 20.3 14.3
20 years 20.4 21.9 14.8
25 years 21.7 22.6 15.1
  Average number of sick days granted per year
1 year 9.6 12.3 7.8
5 years 13.9 15.3 11.5
10 years 16.9 18.3 13.4
15 years 18.9 20.3 14.3
20 years 20.4 21.9 14.8
25 years 21.7 22.6 15.1
  Percentage of employees allowed to carry over
vacation days into the next year
Carry Over Only 24% 72% 17%
Cash In Only 11 2 14
Carry Over and Cash In 11 8 9
Unused Benefit Lost 49 16 58

Work Force-Related Statistics

  • Average age of the work force: 1965, 40.5 years; 1979, 34.7 years; 1995, 37.8 years; 2005, 40.5 years.
  • Average number of years with most recent employer, by age:
  1951 1966 1973 1983 1987 1991 1996
Males
25-34 2.8 2.7 3.2 3.4 3.7 3.7 3.0
35-44 4.5 6.0 6.7 7.7 7.6 7.2 6.0
45-54 7.6 8.8 11.5 13.4 12.3 12.2 10.0
55-64 9.3 13.0 14.5 17.0 15.7 15.5 12.0
Females
25-34 1.8 1.9 2.2 3.1 3.1 3.2 2.7
35-44 3.1 3.5 3.6 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.0
45-54 4.0 5.7 5.9 6.9 7.3 7.3 7.0
55-64 4.5 9.0 8.8 10.5 10.3 10.4 10.0

For more information, contact Ken McDonnell, (202) 775-6342, or see EBRI's Web site at www.ebri.org.
Source: EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, fourth edition, 1997.
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