Recently, I came across a news item from U.S. News & World Report that, based on research from the Society for Human Resource Management, detailed 21 workplace benefits that are rapidly disappearing from view—for a variety of reasons. Some — like HMOs — are fading away because they’re being replaced by more popular products. Others, like retiree medical and defined benefit plans, are being phased out due to cost. And a combination of both factors is diminishing still others, like legal assistance and executive club memberships.

A majority of employers (77%) told SHRM the slow economic recovery is to blame for the decline in benefits offerings, and SHRM research director Mark Schmit tells USN, “The two biggest areas where cuts have come have been in health care and retirement because that's where costs have increased the most.”

Certainly understandable, but the list is a bit shocking all the same. Read the full USN report here, but here’s the list (I believe in no particular order) of 21 benefits that are fading to black.


1. Traditional pension plans
2. Retiree health care coverage
3. Long-term care insurance
4. HMOs
5. Paid family leave
6. Adoption assistance
7. Professional development opportunities
8. Life insurance for dependents
9. Incentive bonus plans
10. Contraceptive coverage
11. Casual dress day
12. Legal assistance
13. Sports team sponsorship
14. Executive club memberships
15. Relocation benefits
16. Help purchasing a home
17. Travel perks
18. The company picnic
19. Rewards
20. Company-purchased tickets
21. Take your child to work day

Which of these benefits have been eliminated at your company? Which are you considering eliminating? Which ones are considered sacred? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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