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  • Trends: Insurances, 401(k) Plans Becoming Common Intern Benefits

    July 20, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Internships
    An HR manager discusses the benefits package with a potential intern.

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Over the past decade, employers have bolstered the slate of benefits they have offered to their interns, according to NACE’s 2016 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops.

    In recent years, the Affordable Care Act has had a strong influence on this, with medical and dental insurance now offered by a significant portion of respondents. 

    How considerable has the change been? In 2013, just 8.7 percent of responding employers reported offering medical insurance to their interns, while 7.4 percent offered dental insurance. In this year’s Internship & Co-op Survey, 46.5 percent of respondents reported offering medical insurance to their interns and 44.2 percent indicated offering dental insurance. (See Figure 1.)

    While planned social activities and paid holidays have traditionally been popular intern benefits over the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the percentage of respondents offering 401(k) plans. Once offered by fewer than one in 10 employers and offered by just three in 10 employers last year, these plans are now offered to interns by more than half of respondents.

    In fact, these three—planned social activities, paid holidays, and 401(k) plans—are the only benefits that a majority of employers offered to their interns this year.

    NACE’s 2016 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops provides wages and benefits information gathered from organizations that took part in NACE’s 2016 Internship & Co-op Survey. The 2016 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted November 9, 2015, through February 17, 2016, among NACE employer members; there were a total of 271 organizations responding, or 26.9 percent of all eligible respondents. Highlights from the survey are available on NACEWeb. Participating employers receive a complimentary copy of the survey results (see MyNACE > Research Reports).

    Figure 1: Employee Benefits Offered to Interns, 2007-16

    Benefit 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    % of responses
    Planned social activities 63.9% 68.6% 85.0% 61.9% 60.0% 65.6% 67.4% 69.7% 71.7% 79.1%
    Paid holidays 47.6% 50.0% 62.0% 40.5% 49.0% 47.2% 40.4% 44.3% 68.3% 67.4%
    401(k) plan 8.8% 10.8% 16.5% 16.7% 13.5% 13.7% 21.3% 21.7% 35.0% 53.5%
    Medical insurance 7.5% 6.0% 10.5% 8.3% 9.5% 9.0% 8.7% 10.9% 16.7% 46.5%
    Dental insurance 4.4% 4.4% 7.5% 4.2% 7.5% 6.1% 7.4% 9.5% 15.0% 44.2%
    Service time 38.8% 35.4% 41.5% 31.0% 30.0% 26.9% 25.2% 31.2% 31.7% 44.2%
    Vacation time 8.4% 11.9% 13.5% 10.1% 13.5% 10.8% 10.9% 12.2% 23.3% 30.2%
    Scholarships 9.3% 10.1% 15.0% 7.7% 9.0% 7.5% 7.4% 6.8% 5.0% 9.3%
    Tuition reimbursement 4.0% 2.6% 6.5% 2.4% 4.5% 4.2% 7.0% 4.1% 5.0% 7.0%
    Source: 2016 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops, National Association of Colleges and Employers