EBRI Notes

Value of Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2016 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey

Apr 18, 2017 12  pages


The EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) examines a broad spectrum of health care issues, including workers’ satisfaction with health care today, their confidence in the health care system and the Medicare program, and their attitudes toward benefits in the workplace. It is co-sponsored by Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates with support from eight private organizations.

The 2016 survey was conducted online June 16-23, 2016, using the Research Now consumer panel. A total of 1,500 workers in the United States ages 21-64 participated in the survey. The data were weighted by gender, age, and education to reflect the actual proportions in the employed population.

This EBRI Notes article identifies the key findings of the 2016 survey:

  • One-third of workers (32 percent) are only somewhat satisfied with the benefits offered by their current employer, and 20 percent are not satisfied.
  • One-half (49 percent) are extremely or very confident that their employer will continue to offer a similar benefits package three years from now. Those who are less confident that their benefits will remain the same tend to believe their benefits will weaken.
  • Workers continue to value employment-based health insurance as their most important benefit. Eighty-seven percent of workers report that employment-based health insurance is extremely or very important, followed by a retirement savings plan (77 percent) and dental or vision (72 percent).
  • Two-thirds are confident in their ability to make informed benefits choices. Yet, nearly as many would welcome benefits advice from a third-party advisor or an online program.
  • Workers identify lower cost, choice, and the convenience of paying pre-tax and through payroll deductions as strong advantages of voluntary employment-based benefits.