What Percentage of Total Compensation Do Employee Benefits Account For? (Updated 1/2/19)

Woman holding total compensation reportEmployers are often perplexed by how much they should spend on employee benefits. How much is too much for things like vacation time or bonuses?

recent report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that benefits make up about 30% of the average worker’s total compensation. According to this September 2018 report, employer paid benefits represent 46% of an employee’s wage. So, if I pay you one dollar in base pay, I would on average pay you $0.46 in benefits!

That’s a number most employers and employees do not know. And if you are a gracious employer, like most of COMPackage’s customers, it’s even more!

The report provides separate numbers for civilian, private, and government workers, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll just look at the private business numbers. The highest percentage of benefit costs for private employers was insurance at 7.9%, followed by required benefits, at 7.7%, and paid leave, at 7.0%

According to the report, an employee with an annual salary of $50,000 would have a total compensation of $70,721. That employee’s package on average would include:

  • $5,667 for insurance
  • $5,524 for legally required benefits
  • $5022 for paid leave
  • $2,798 for retirement and savings
  • $2,726 for supplemental pay

And if you never tell your employees, or their managers, they will never know!

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