Benefit Preferences by Generation

Benefit Preferences by Generation

Everyone likes benefits. The questions is … which benefits do they like the most? For companies vying for top talent in a tight market, it’s an important issue. An impressive benefits package can help attract and retain employees. Although some benefits are considered essential by pretty much all workers, other favorites tend to vary based on factors including the employee’s age. Each generation has their own specific needs, and the best benefits will address these.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers were born in the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. Some have already retired, and the rest are nearing retirement age.

Despite being close to retirement, many Baby Boomers struggle with a lack of savings. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, approximately half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings. For this generation, good salaries, bonuses and retirement plans are all essential.

Health care is a top concern for every generation, and Baby Boomers are no exception. Baby Boomers need comprehensive coverage. They may also be interested in health savings accounts, disability insurance, long-term care insurance and other benefits that can help them manage health care costs and related expenses.    

Generation X

Generation Xers were born in the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. Many of them are balancing work and family, and their children may be entering college. This generation needs well-rounded benefits, job stability and advancement opportunities.

Although retirement is still years off, saving for retirement is a major concern. According to the Economic Policy Institute, in 2013, only 57 percent of people age 44 to 49 had a retirement savings account, with a median retirement savings total of only $6,200.  

Again, health care is important. Many Generation Xers need health insurance policies that will take care of themselves and their children.

Millennials

Millennials were born in the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. They’re still establishing their careers. Many of them are also starting families.

As with the older generations, health care is seen as an essential benefit for Millennials, and retirement plans are valued, as well.  

Millennials tend to be very tech savvy, and they often value benefits that provide them with flexibility, such as the option to work from home or vary their work hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 19 percent of employees did some or all of their work from home in 2003. By 2015, that figure had increased to 24 percent.

Student loan debt is a common concern among Millennials. According the statistics from the Federal Reserve, 66 percent of 18- to 29- year-olds who earned a bachelor’s degree borrowed money to do so. For millennials with student loan debt, student loan repayment assistance is an attractive employment perk. 

Financial Fitness

For every generation, financial fitness is becoming a major benefit trend. Companies have found that when employees are educated about how to take control of their finances, they are more likely to adopt and use the benefits available to them. Financial fitness also reduces stress, increasing morale and productivity.

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