Sept. 6, 2010 – Employee benefits: How dealers rate vs. the national average

The number of large dealerships that offer medical and dental benefits is comparable to the national average for all U.S. retail businesses.
Both large and small dealerships, however, are below the national average when it comes to offering retirement benefits and have shown some declines in that area since the recession, a recent Powersports Business survey finds.
The national dealer survey, conducted in June by marketing research company Irwin Broh & Associates Inc., was an update of full-time employee benefits data collected by Powersports Business in 2007.
The full results of the national survey, which also looked at staff sizes and revenue breakdowns by department, will be presented in the upcoming Powersports Business 2010 Market Data Book.
Nationally, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in March 2009 (the most recent numbers available), about 86 percent of full-time private industry employees are offered medical care benefits by their employers. That number is lower for sales and office workers, at 72 percent (sales and related personnel 63 percent, office and administrative support personnel 78 percent). These numbers have held fairly steady since 2007, when 85 percent of full-time employees working for private companies had medical benefits.
In the powersports industry, larger dealers provide a similar level of coverage, with 80 percent of dealers earning $3 million-$5 million annually offering medical benefits to full-time employees and 94 percent of dealers earning $5 million and over making them available to full-time staff. These numbers have remained stable since 2007.
However, smaller dealers are significantly less likely to offer these benefits. Only 42 percent of dealers with annual revenues of $1 million or less offer full-time employees medical benefits (down from 45 percent in 2007) and 70 percent of dealers earning between $1 million-$3 million provide them (an increase of 6 percentage points compared to 2007).
For dental benefits, the national survey found about 56 percent of full-time private industry employees were offered dental care, which is unchanged from 2007. For sales and office workers, 47 percent have dental. Sales and related personnel 41 percent, administrative support personnel 51 percent.
Again, larger powersports dealers are in line with those numbers, with 57 percent of powersports dealers making $5 million and over offering dental benefits to full-time employees. That’s roughly similar to 2007.
For smaller dealers, however, dental care coverage was hard hit in recent years, with two categories showing large decreases in coverage. Only 27.5 percent of dealers making $3 million-$5 million were offering coverage in the latest survey, down from 35 percent in 2007. That is similar to the 26 percent of dealers earning between $1 million-$3 million that offer coverage, which is unchanged from 2007. The largest decline though occurred in dealerships with annual revenues of $1 million and less, with the number offering dental benefits now compared to 2007 down by nearly 8.5 percentage points to 13.5 percent.
Nationally, about 76 percent of full-time workers were offered retirement benefits (an increase from 70 percent in 2007). For sales and office personnel, 71 percent of full-time workers in private industry had benefits — 67 percent sales and related, 74 percent office and administrative support.
In contrast, the powersports industry showed some declines in this category. Retirement benefits were offered to full-time employees at 55 percent of dealers making $5 million and over (similar to 2007), 35 percent of dealers making $3 million-$5 million (down from 38 percent in 2007), 22 percent of dealers making $1 million-$3 million (down from 28 percent), and 19 percent of dealers making less than 1 million (unchanged from 2007).
How much does offering these benefits affect a company’s bottom line? For businesses nationwide, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says health insurance costs represent about 8 percent of total compensation expenses and retirement represents about 4.5 percent of total compensation. PSB

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