How pensions got tangled in total rewards

Once a fringe benefit, pensions are now considered a right and employees are more savvy about the type of plan they want
By Joe Nunes
|CHRR, Report on Total Rewards|Last Updated: 02/15/2005

Back in the “old days” companies provided employees with something called fringe benefits. These benefits were supplements to the wages paid to workers and included items such as health benefits, pensions and even hot lunches.

These benefits did have a cost, but the total cost was not large relative to the cost of equipment and wages, and, as such, the costs were not managed aggressively nor were the benefits promoted to workers as significant pieces of their total compensation.

As time passed, the cost of these fringe benefits increased and a consulting industry grew out of a demand for expertise in managing these costs. At the same time, tax policy evolved and some benefits such as car allowances started to vanish from the landscape.