Millennials Demand Benefits But Need Choices, Clarity

That’s the title of an article by Christy DeFrain, Purchasing Power’s Vice President of Sales and Account Management, in the March issue of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine.

Millennials, the largest generation in today’s workplace, are a puzzle. Everyone’s trying to understand them and how to motivate them. As for their employee benefits, Millennials have low participation rates and are less likely to know about their employee benefits than other generations. They either aren’t aware of or are confused by many of their benefit options -- so they just don’t use them.

In her article, DeFrain discusses how our industry -- specifically employers and brokers – can be successful with employee benefits for this young generation. For Millennials, she says, we must abandon one-size-fits-all benefits programs and one-size-fits-all, one-and-done methods of communicating about those benefits.

The benefits and perks that employees today truly care about are those that offer greater flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to lead a better life. Millennials want benefits and perks that directly impact their lives and the lives of their family members, and they show a greater willingness to switch jobs to secure these elements. One in three Millennial workers has turned down a job offer due to insufficient or lackluster health insurance, according to DeFrain’s article.

So what benefits are important to Millennials?

  • As they age, begin to get married, purchase homes and start families, they want more than the usual benefit mix of medical, vision and dental coverage and slowly warm to the idea of disability coverage.
  • Millennials expect a broader range of healthcare services than they are currently offered and are not opposed to paying for high-tech and high-touch healthcare experiences.
  • Being an “on-demand” generation, they have an affinity for being offered lots of options and being able to choose what they want. By offering a variety of voluntary benefits employers can provide a means for Millennials to customize their benefits package, choosing options that are important to them.
  • With the amount of student loan debt that most Millennials carry, it’s no wonder that student loan repayment programs are a powerful incentive for their recruitment and retention, yet only 4 percent of employers offer this assistance, according to SHRM.
  • Of all the generations, Millennials are the most amenable to participating in financial education programs. SHRM reports that 92 percent of employees surveyed say they would use such a wellness program at work if offered one.
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