Companies Across America Are Killing Off Your Favorite Perks

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Yahoo take your kid to work

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Community-building perks like take your kid to work day and the company softball team could be a thing of the past, according to a new survey from the Society For Human Resources Management.

Employers are turning towards more practical benefits, like those encouraging employees to get healthier in the hope of reducing costs and boosting productivity.

New age perks like unlimited vacation time (1% of companies), pets at work (3%), on-site nap rooms (6%), and on-site haircuts (1%) are still pretty rare. Flexible work options haven't changed much either.

Here are some of the perks and benefits that American companies have been killing off:

  • As Quartz highlighted recently, only 16% of companies offer sports teams, down from 25% in 2009
  • Take your kid to work day is down 10% since 2009. Take your parent to work day is even less popular. Only 1% of employers offer it.
  • 10% fewer companies offer defined benefit pensions, reflecting the difficulty many companies are having with funding current obligations.
  • Temporary relocation benefits have declined 13%.
  • 12% fewer companies purchase employees tickets to sporting events and the like.
  • Floating holidays, or pre-approved paid days off, are down 7%.
  • Coverage for long-term care is down 8%.
  • Reimbursement for personal telephone calls while traveling is down 14%, so watch out for those long-distance calls home.

Some perks, however, are becoming more popular. As health care costs have become an increasing concern, and many companies gear up to offer insurance for the first time after Obamacare comes on line, many more companies are figuring out ways to encourage employees to get healthier.

By giving employees bigger incentives to take care of themselves, they save on medical expenses, and missed work days: 

  • Rewards or bonuses for completing health and wellness programs are up a hefty 20%.
  • Insurance premium discounts for participating in a wellness program are up 9%, and are up 11% for getting an annual check-up.
  • 9% more employers offer on-site fitness classes, and more have health and lifestyle coaching available.
  • Coverage of contraceptive care is up 12% after a recent court decision, as it is for mental health, laser vision, and acupuncture.

Beyond health care, there are a couple other notable improvements:

  • Benefits for same-sex domestic partners are up 10%.
  • 9% more companies have an on site mothers/lactation room.
  • Paid time off plans have risen 10%.
  • Employee referral bonuses are way up in the past year, reflecting the fact that companies increasingly prefer to hire referrals.
  • On the personal finance side, 14% more companies offer Roth 401ks, and more are offering both retirement and individual investment advice.


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