SHRM Releases 2022 Employee Benefits Survey

New Orleans— Employers providing mental health coverage in 2022 hit a new high of 91% since the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits such as mental health coverage, telemedicine and telehealth have shown upward movement, according to the latest SHRM Employee Benefits Survey released today.

Health care emerged as the leader in importance ranked by employers as the most important type of benefit an organization can provide to its employees, followed by retirement and leave benefits, which jointly rank second rank. Retirement benefits were 55% in 2020/21, rising to 82% in 2022. Although the importance ratings for many benefits changed dramatically at the height of the pandemic, now that businesses have regained some semblance of functioning more normal, so are companies ranked the benefits in a more typical order of importance. While this order of importance reverts to what was generally seen pre-pandemic, it is critical to note that all benefits are now considered individually more important to offer for businesses than they were pre-pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on the world of work appears to have led to lasting shifts in views on specific benefits offerings.

For instance:

  • Flexible working arrangements were 49% in 2019, 83% during the pandemic when many workers had to work remotely and have now stabilized at 70% in 2022.
  • 65% of employers thought the benefits of professional career development were significant now compared to 37 percent in 2020/2021 and 51% before the pandemic.
  • Family care benefits were seen by 70% of employers as important to offer, up from 76% during the pandemic when they became increasingly important, but up from 52% before the pandemic.

“Employer benefits provide organizations with a key opportunity to improve the employee experience and directly make a difference in the lives of their employees,” said Alex Alonso, SHRM Chief Knowledge Officer, Ph. D., SHRM-SCP. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting impacts on the economy and public health have accelerated the evolving nature of organizations, many of which now have access to broader talent pools through the ability to work remotely. Workers now have more options for where and when it will work, and these two factors together create an exciting talent landscape for organizations around the world.These advantages can play a huge role in this competition for talent and, in some cases , can determine success or failure.

Highlights from the 2022 SHRM Benefits Report:

Health care benefits:

  • 93 percent of organizations reported offering telemedicine or telehealth as a benefit to their workers, up to 20 percent points since 2019.
  • 1 in 5 employers offer mental health days in addition to regular sick leave.
  • Almost all organizations (98%) offer some type of health coverage, with three-quarters (72%) of organizations saying they offer a fully insured health plan and 26% saying they offer a self-insured plan.
  • Flexible Medical Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) remained the most popular types of health-related spending accounts, with 63% and 57% of employers offering them, respectively.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations that offer an HSA said they made employer contributions to these plans, which is the lowest prevalence since 2018, when 64% said they offered the benefit.

Retirement and Savings:

  • 82% chose retirement and savings as an important benefit. Up 27% compared to 2020/21, employers ranked retirement and savings benefits among the top types of benefits they can provide to their employees. Employers still believe strongly in the importance of retirement and savings benefits.
  • In 2022, most employers offered some type of retirement savings plan to their employees, with 94% offering a traditional 401(k) and 68% offering a Roth 401(k).
  • Many of these employers also provided some type of matching to these retirement plans, with 83% contributing to traditional 401(k) plans and 76% contributing to Roth 401(k) plans.
  • On average, employers provided a maximum salary match percentage of 6.8% for traditional 401(k) plans and 6.7% for Roth 401(k) plans.
  • Just over half (51%) of organizations said they automatically enroll new or existing employees in their company’s pension plan, a figure that has remained stable since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • 82% selected holidays as very important.
  • Leave benefits remained among the most important benefits employers felt an organization should offer, even after the initial adjustment at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Despite a high ranking, leave for new parents (beyond what is required by law) returned to pre-pandemic prevalence levels after all the different types of leave reached their highest prevalence in 2020. Organizations offering paid maternity leave fell to 35 percent (from 53 percent in 2020) and the number offering paid paternity leave fell to 27 percent (from 44 percent).
  • The number of organizations offering paid adoption leave fell to 28% (from 36%) and the number offering paid adoption leave fell to 22% (from 28%). Employers appear to be backtracking on expanded parental leave options since returning to more normal operations.

Other types of leave:

  • Almost all employers offered paid vacation (99%) or paid sick leave (96%), with two-thirds (67%) indicating that they offered a paid vacation bank (PTO) covering both vacation and sick leave.
  • Open or unlimited paid leave continued to be rarely offered, with only 6% indicating that it offered this benefit.
  • Additionally, (20%) of organizations said they offer paid mental health days separate from regular sick leave.

Family care:

  • More than half of organizations (59%) said they offer a flexible spending account for dependents, which allows employees to directly save funds for caregiving expenses.
  • Additionally, 31% of organizations said they would allow employees to bring children to work in an emergency as a benefit.

Flexible work:

  • 63% of employers said they offer most of their workers the option of adopting a hybrid work model, which involves a combination of remote and in-person work.
  • Across all organizations, 62% said they offer employees a subsidy or reimbursement for home office or work equipment. On average, these employers paid employees about $891 to cover the costs of working from home.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of employers offering a subsidy or reimbursement said they cover the cost of general office supplies like pens or notepads, and 24% said they cover the cost of chairs for working employees. home.

Professional development:

  • 78% of employers offer opportunities to develop new skills, up from 75% in 2021.
  • The number of employers who felt it was important to provide professional development benefits increased to 65% in 2022.
  • 48 percent of employers said they offer undergraduate or graduate tuition assistance as a benefit.


The 2022 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey was conducted from January 11 to February 28, 2022. Online surveys were sent to US-based SHRM Professional Members, which yielded eligible responses of 3,129 participants representing independent organizations. Respondents were asked to provide responses regarding benefits offered by their organizations in the 2022 plan year. A stratified sampling approach was used to ensure coverage of all locations (including states) in the online benchmarking tool. Respondents represent organizations of all sizes – from two employees to more than 25,000 – in a wide variety of industries and sectors across the United States. The data is unweighted.

This year, SHRM has prepared the survey results in a new way and will provide exclusive access for SHRM members to explore the full survey results online at The summary can be viewed by the media here

Press briefing: SHRM 2022 Employee Benefits results are released at SHRM’s annual conference and expo in New Orleans.

Media: To request an interview, contact Eddie Burke of SHRM Media Relations at [email protected] and (202) 321 5026 or Mallory Flynn at [email protected] and (828) 925 0387.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting the changing workplaces of today. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies rely on SHRM to be their go-to resource for all things work and their business partner for creating next-generation workplaces. With more than 300,000 HR members and business leaders in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families around the world. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

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