Cuts at General Motors Bring Benefit Trends to the Forefront

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While GM is cutting back, the 2008 Compensation Data results show benefits have seen little change nationally in the last five years.

With economic woes putting increased pressure on employers, some of the benefits employees have taken for granted may be cut back. It will be interesting to see how other large corporations respond.

General Motors has made headlines with plans to cut benefits. Tuition reimbursement and 401(k) matching plans will all be affected. Retirees are also slated to loose health insurance coverage when they reach Medicare eligibility as of January 1. While GM is cutting back, the 2008 Compensation Data results show these benefits have seen little change nationally in the last five years.

“Although these benefits have remained steady over the last five years, it remains to be seen how they will fare in the coming years,” said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys. “With economic woes putting increased pressure on employers, some of the benefits employees have taken for granted may be cut back. It will be interesting to see how other large corporations respond.”

Although GM has plans to stop matching employee 401(k) contributions, this is indicative of what is happening nationwide. When comparing defined contribution plans, 63.3 percent offer a 401(k) plan with an employer contribution. This number has decreased by 20 percent in the last five years. Currently, the majority of organizations that provide a matching program match 50 to 74.9 percent of an employee’s contribution, up to an average maximum of 5.5 percent of the employee’s salary. That being said, nearly all companies surveyed offered a retirement plan this year, which has been the case for five years.

GM also plans to reduce retiree health insurance coverage. This benefit has had a consistent rate of incidence since 2004. Currently, it is offered by 22.5 percent of employers. Of those, 38.3 percent ask retirees to pay for 100 percent of the coverage. Comparatively, nearly 30 percent pay up to 25 percent.

While GM has plans to cut tuition reimbursement, 84.3 percent of organizations nationwide continue to provide this benefit. The 2008 Compensation Data results found there has been no statistically significant difference in the rate of incidence offered for the last five years. Generally, tuition reimbursement is most offered to technical/professional employees and those in management. In 2008, no maximum was set on reimbursement at 31.9 percent of organizations, and many companies had a work requirement of 15.7 months on average.

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2008 contains data on 637 job titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Information was collected from millions of employees across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of March 1, 2008.

Compdata Surveys, http://www.compdatasurveys.com/2009, is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Data is collected annually from thousands of organizations across the country. Compdata Surveys has been providing accurate, reliable data at affordable prices to organizations for many years. For further information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Lane Odle at (800) 300-9570 or lodle @ compdatasurveys.com.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

For more information, contact:
Lane Odle
Product Marketing Manager
(800) 300-9570
lodle @ compdatasurveys.com

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