As employers continue to shift from pay raises toward creative benefit rewards to compensate employees, industry experts say it’s increasingly imperative advisers work with clients to take a holistic approach to benefit package design.

In the second quarter of this year, 31% of total worker compensation came in the form of benefits such as vacation time, health insurance and bonuses — up from 29% a decade earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Average hourly wages have grown slowly since the end of the recession in mid-2009, up about 2% annually or about 12% since the expansion began. Benefits, meanwhile, have increased 15%, which the Department of Labor statistics show is a continuation of a much longer trend. Since 2001, benefits increased nearly 60%, while wages advanced 40%.

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