SHRM Survey Reveals 2019 Benefit Trends

Every year, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducts a survey of employers to find out the most popular benefits offered. While seventy percent of organizations maintained healthcare benefits at existing levels and the health insurance plan most frequently offered in 2019 — the PPO — was basically unchanged from 2018, there were notable differences in other benefits companies are providing. If you want to benchmark your program to see how you stack up, here are some of the top trends for 2019.

  • Educational Help Grew: The percentage of businesses offering student loan repayment assistance increased from 4 to 8% in 2019 and tuition assistance for undergraduate or graduate school increased from 51 to 56%.
  • Alternative Treatment Coverage Dropped: Chiropractic coverage decreased from 80 to 75% while acupressure/acupuncture coverage dropped from 47 to 39%.
  • Credit Counseling Surged: This year, 18% of companies offered a credit counseling service for employees, up from 10% in 2018.
  • Fertility Benefits Decreased: Coverage for in-vitro fertilization is down from 27 to 19% and other infertility treatment coverage decreased from 25 to 18%.
  • 401(k) Auto Enrollment Increased: More employers – 42 compared to 38% last year – are auto-enrolling new employees into defined contribution plans in an effort to boost participation and the same feature increased for current employees as well, up to 22% from 20%.
  • Pet Benefits Rose: Embracing the pet-friendly trend, the percentage of companies allowing pets at work grew to 11% this year up from 9% and pet health insurance is offered by 15% of organizations compared to 11% last year.
  • Professional Support Declined: The amount of companies covering the cost of professional memberships dropped from 87 to 83% and those covering professional license application or renewal fees fell from 75 to 71%.
  • Telemedicine Hit Record Highs: In just two years, the percentage of employers offering telemedicine or telehealth increased from 34 to 72%.
  • Wellness Benefits Varied: Many wellness benefits were relatively unchanged from last year but there were increases in certain areas, like 60% of employers now offer a standing desk, up from 53% last year, and the number of companies offering a health premium discount for participating in wellness increased to 31%, the highest figure in five years.
  • Flexibility Continued to Increase: Forty-two percent of companies now allow telecommuting on a part-time basis, up from 37% last year, and 27% allow it on a full-time basis, while 32% of employers offer a compressed workweek compared to 27% last year.
  • Family Leave Rose: Twenty-two percent of companies now offer family leave above federal FMLA leave, compared to 16% last year, and 19% offer family leave above state levels, up from 14% in 2018.

For assistance designing a plan that works for you and your employees, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 877.253.9020.

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