Younger workers more receptive to voluntary benefits

By BenefitsPro

By Kathryn Mayer

Employers looking to retain their younger employees can use this suggestion: Offer voluntary benefits.

A MetLife survey finds younger employees want more robust benefit offerings more than their boomer counterparts, even if it means paying all the cost for those voluntary benefits themselves.

About three-quarters (74 percent) of Gen X and Gen Y workers say they want more benefits to choose from and 71 percent say they want more personalized benefits geared toward different age groups. Those younger workers who are satisfied with their benefits were much more likely to feel a very strong sense of loyalty to their employers 72 percent compared with 46 percent of younger workers overall.

Of the voluntary benefits that younger workers want most, they cite: life, disability, critical illness, dental and vision.

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of responding to the needs of younger workers on whose shoulders the future of a small business can depend,” says Anthony J. Nugent, executive vice president, Group, Voluntary & Worksite Sales, at MetLife.

“Our study underscores that generational differences about benefits needs and preferences are not just reflections of age. Younger workers, particularly those in many smaller organizations that were hit very hard by the recession, and who are unsure about the future of Social Security, have a different benefits perspective than older generations.”

Originally published on