EBRI Issue Brief

Public Opinion on Health, Retirement, and Other Employee Benefits

Dec 1, 1992 33  pages


  • Employee benefits central to job choice—93 percent of survey respondents say the benefits offered by a prospective employer were either very important or somewhat important when deciding to accept or reject a job.
  • Quality of health care highly rated—Americans' rating of the quality of health care they receive has remained high over the last three years. In 1992, among respondents who indicated they had received care from a doctor or hospital in the last year (88 percent), 83 percent rated the quality of that care as either excellent or good. In contrast, 27 percent of all respondents rated the U.S. health care system as excellent or good.
  • Equality in health care favored—Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe everyone should receive the same amount and quality of health care, whether or not they can pay for that care. Eighty-six percent either disagree or strongly disagree that it would be acceptable to reduce the amount of health care available to the elderly in order to slow the rise in health care costs and increase access to health care for all Americans.
  • Choice of savings vehicle may affect retirement—Fifty-one percent of survey respondents indicated having retirement savings in personal savings, compared with 33 percent with savings in an individual retirement account (IRA), and 20 percent with savings in a 401(k). The emphasis on the use of personal savings indicates that many Americans may not be taking full advantage of tax-advantaged savings plans.
  • Security in investments sought—Seventy percent of workers said they were more inclined to choose low-risk/low-return investments. This preference for less risky and lower return investments may be of some concern, as it may lead to lower standards of living in retirement.
  • Family leave favored—Three out of four Americans (76 percent) indicated that employers should be required to provide an unpaid leave of absence to employees upon the birth or adoption of a child, with guaranteed reemployment.