Gen Y slacking on income protection

By Lauren McNitt


About half of Gen Y workers ages 21 to 31 don’t have any income protection through disability insurance, yet half also live paycheck to paycheck.

Gen Y caring for children, parents

While Gen Y represents the youngest people in the workforce, according to a new MetLife study, they are shouldering significant familial responsibilities. Fifty-five percent are married or in a domestic partnership, 46 percent are parents of young children, and 13 percent care for an elderly relative.

Without income protection, many Gen Y workers would be unlikely to continue fulfilling these responsibilities if they became disabled. Even among those who have disability insurance, many are not adequately covered, and 40 percent don’t know what percentage of their income is covered.

Myth: Young people are unlikely to become disabled

While Gen Y may think they’re invincible, the numbers show they are not. Nearly 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they reach age 67.

Most employers offer disability insurance

About 7 in 10 employers offer some type of disability coverage to their employees, according to MetLife. A good rule is to cover 60 percent to 80 percent of your after-tax income, researchers say. But many Gen Yers may need even more coverage, since one-fourth report they are spending 80 percent of more of their income on essentials.