Employee Demand For Voluntary Benefits Exceeds Supply

At smaller businesses, economic conditions are making one-half of Gen Y and Gen X workers look more toward employee benefits as a solution to financial security – even if they have to fund 100% of the cost themselves, according to a MetLife survey.

“Younger workers have a different benefit perspective than older generations, particularly those in many smaller organizations that were hit very hard by the recession and are unsure about the future of Social Security,” said Anthony Nugent, executive vice president, Group, Voluntary & Worksite Sales, at MetLife.

Two-thirds of Gen Y and Gen X employees, who work for small businesses, are willing to pay more for their benefits rather than losing them. Fifty-four percent want a wider array of benefit options, even if it means paying all of the cost of voluntary benefits, such as life, dental, vision, disability, critical illness, or homeowner/auto insurance coverage, for example.

Fifty-seven percent of companies with 500 employees or more say that providing voluntary benefits is a key element of their benefit strategy compared to 43% who said so a year earlier. Smaller firms saw an increase to 31% from 26%. The survey also reveals the following:

• 44% of younger workers are interested in voluntary home/auto while 2% of small businesses offer this benefit.
• 41% of younger workers are interested in voluntary life while 20% of small businesses offer this benefit.
• 40% of younger workers are interested in voluntary disability while 8% of small businesses offer this benefit.
• 38% of younger workers are interested in voluntary dental while 11% of small businesses offer this benefit.
• 38% of younger workers are interested in voluntary vision while 9% of small businesses offer this benefit.
• 38% of younger workers are interested in voluntary critical illness while 10% of small businesses offer this benefit.

Almost three out of four small business employees would like their employer to offer financial education, but only 29% of employers offered these programs. Seventy-two percent of younger employees who are very satisfied with their benefit have a very strong loyalty to their employers compared to 46% of younger workers overall. For more information, visit www.metlife.com/sbtrends.

Last Updated 9/8/2017

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