Fringe Benefits

August 19, 1959

Report Outline
Postwar Sperad of Fringe Benefits
Fringe Benefits: Types and Trends
Cost and Effect of Fringe Benefits
Special Focus

Postwar Sperad of Fringe Benefits

Extension of fringe benefits to a large proportion of salaried and wage workers in the United States has been the most spectacular development In employee remuneration since before World War II. Payments in addition to wages and salaries have multiplied to such an extent, in both form and amount, that one expert in the field has concluded that they have “ceased to constitute a ‘fringe’ and have become, instead, an important segment of the compensation of employees, from janitors to presidents.”

William J. Casey, a New York tax lawyer, has observed that “The search for economic security has replaced the mere struggle to earn a living as the main driving force for millions of Americans.” Casey said that it takes “close to $100,000 to buy security for an employee if he lives, for his family if he dies,” and he added: “Because we live under a tax system which makes it virtually impossible for the average executive, let alone the average wage earner, to accumulate this capital himself, slowly but surely and to an ever-increasing extent, the American employer has taken on the job.”

Top and middle management personnel in established corporations are generally handed the richest package of fringe benefits; in addition to receiving the benefits given millions of other white-collar workers, the corporate executive often is enabled to build up personal capital through such means as thrift plans and options to buy company stock at what amounts to bargain rates.

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