Employee benefits include a wide variety of noncash compensation programs provided by employers to employees. The major programs cover retirement, income protection, health care, and paid time off. In addition, benefits include a broad range of services. While there is a small literature on benefits in general, each of these benefit types has a distinct scholarly literature and a professional literature. The disciplines required to work in the benefits arena are predominantly economics, finance, and public policy, with lesser emphasis on tax law, communications, demographics, and organizational psychology. Employee benefits are very much determined by national law, culture, and tax policies. This review focuses on US employee benefits but also speaks to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other international programs where possible. Because the United States is the only major economic power where pensions and health care are employer-based rather than government-based, most of the pension and health-care literature relevant to management research has originated in the United States. Similarly, the focus here is on works that speak to management options. Thus, while public policy constrains management action, it is not a primary interest of this review. Finally, it is important that management researchers understand how employee benefit programs actually work, and professional journal articles providing this background are an important part of this review.
Article. 11314 words.
Subjects: Business and Management
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