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Study finds benefits costs vary greatly by industry

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

The cost of employer-provided health care and retirement benefits, measured as a percentage of pay, varies greatly by industry, according to research by the Willis Towers Watson consulting firm.

Retirement benefits costs varied the most, but health care benefits costs averaged nearly 70% more than the cost of retirement benefits in 2015, the most recent year studied.

Health care costs are substantial across all industries, ranging from 10.4% of pay in the retail sector to 12.7% of pay in the energy field.

Retirement benefits averaged 12% of pay in the energy sector, compared with roughly 5.5% of pay in the health care, high-tech, general services and retail industries.

The average cost of health benefits across all industries was 11.5% of pay. The average retirement benefit cost was 6.8% of pay.

“Employers aren’t spending as much on retirement benefits as in previous years,” said Debby Moorman, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson. “In fact, employers are now spending a much higher percentage of pay on health care benefits compared with 15 years ago.”

Read the full report, Shifts in benefit allocations among U.S. employers, at tinyurl.com/towerswatson-benefits.

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