Millennials are a bird-in-hand kind of generation, according to a new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), and would rather have the money—or life insurance—than a retirement benefit.
New findings from the 2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) show that millennials don’t know as much about their workplace benefits as older generations.
In addition, they’re less interested in them, preferring life insurance over health insurance and even ranking life insurance and paid time off as the most important employee benefit, over and above a traditional pension or retirement savings plan.
Whereas 60 percent of millennials agreed that health insurance is the most important employee benefit, just 2 percent said so about a traditional defined benefit plan—while 8 percent said a retirement savings plan was the most important.
Millennials, compared with boomers and GenXers, would also rather have the money spent on employee benefits other than health insurance and are also more likely than baby boomers to say they’d rather have the money spent on health insurance and decide for themselves whether, and how much, health coverage to buy.
And while older generations are considerably more likely to say that the employee benefits offered by a prospective employer can make or break the decision to accept a job, millennials were substantially less likely to say so.
Forty-one percent of boomers and 39 percent of GenXers said benefits were extremely important, just 31 percent of millennials said so.
But millennials are also far less likely even to know what benefits their employers offer them, compared with older generations.
Fourteen percent of millennials don’t know if their employer offers a traditional pension, DB, or cash balance plan, while 3 percent don’t know about defined contribution plans available at work.
Thirty-four percent don’t know if their employers offer health insurance for early retirees and 32 percent don’t know whether their employers provide supplemental health insurance for retirees on Medicare.