Employee Benefits:

Extent of Companies' Retiree Health Coverage

HRD-90-92: Published: Mar 28, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the extent to which a random sample of 5,500 companies provided retirees with health benefits.

GAO found that: (1) although over half of the companies provided health coverage to active workers, only about 4 percent had retiree health plans; (2) those companies providing retiree health benefits tended to be larger businesses, and they employed 40 percent of private-sector workers; (3) over 5 million retirees participated in company-sponsored health plans, and 40 percent of those retirees were under 65 years of age; (4) less than 1 percent of the companies had terminated their health plans for retirees or active workers since 1984; (5) over a third of the companies required active workers or retirees to help pay for health benefits coverage; (6) there was little variation among companies' retiree health benefits by industry group; and (7) those companies that did not offer retiree health benefits cited a lack of retirees and little demand by employees as reasons for not having such plans.

Jun 4, 2018

May 22, 2018

May 21, 2018

May 17, 2018

Mar 7, 2018

Mar 5, 2018

Feb 21, 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Oct 18, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here