Employee Compensation: Employer Spending on Benefits Has Grown Faster Than Wages, Due Largely to Rising Costs for Health Insurance and Retirement Benefits

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Because most workers rely primarily on their employers to provide both wages and benefits as part of a total compensation package, the trends in the costs and availability of employer-sponsored compensation have a significant bearing on workers' well-being. Through tax preferences and payroll taxes, federal government policy also has a bearing on employees' access to benefits and on the costs carried by employers. The federal government provides significant tax subsidies for both health insurance plans and qualified retirement plans. In addition, workers and employers are required ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 24, 2006.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Because most workers rely primarily on their employers to provide both wages and benefits as part of a total compensation package, the trends in the costs and availability of employer-sponsored compensation have a significant bearing on workers' well-being. Through tax preferences and payroll taxes, federal government policy also has a bearing on employees' access to benefits and on the costs carried by employers. The federal government provides significant tax subsidies for both health insurance plans and qualified retirement plans. In addition, workers and employers are required to pay taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, programs intended to help provide for workers' economic security and peace of mind in retirement. In this report, GAO examined federal data on private employers' costs for active workers and sought perspectives from 17 experts to identify (1) recent trends in employers' total compensation costs; (2) composition of the trends; (3) whether employees' costs, participation, or access to benefits changed; and (4) possible implications of the changes for private systems. GAO received technical comments from the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services and from some of the experts GAO consulted. These comments were incorporated as appropriate."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 24, 2006

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Employee Compensation: Employer Spending on Benefits Has Grown Faster Than Wages, Due Largely to Rising Costs for Health Insurance and Retirement Benefits, report, February 24, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299668/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.