Boomers and GenXers Share Values in Voluntary Benefits

January 31, 2006 ( - An Aon Consulting survey reveals similar values between Baby Boomers and Generation Xers when it comes to choosing voluntary benefits.

The survey found that the top voluntary benefit purchased by both groups was disability coverage – 45% of those surveyed say Baby Boomers purchase disability coverage, while 37% say Gen X workers do the same, according to a press release.

The second ranked voluntary benefit was also the same for both groups. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said Baby Boomers (aged 45 – 60) purchase life insurance and 24% said GenXers purchase it.

In fact, the survey found that disability insurance (37%) and life insurance (19%) were the most popular voluntary benefits for all workers, which Aon says makes sense when the two largest groups in the workforce are the Boomers and GenXers

However, the similarities end there, as companies rank long-term care insurance as the third most popular voluntary benefit for Baby Boomers (11%), while individual home/auto/liability insurance is third among Generation X workers (14%), according to the release.

The study, “What’s Hot and What’s Not in Voluntary Benefits,” found that companies offer voluntary benefits as a tool to attract and retain employees (29%), in response to employee requests (28%) and to help employees with work/life balance (25%), and 80% of workers perceive voluntary benefits to be extremely valuable or valuable. However, 67% of companies surveyed said they do not measure the success of these programs, or do so only as needed.

“These programs can be very beneficial to employees and help serve as a point of differentiation for employers. However, if an organization does not review and revise their voluntary benefits as needed, it may result in a decrease in program use and negatively impact employee morale,” said Garry Sullivan, senior vice president with Aon Consulting, in the release.

Results from the Aon Consulting study are based on responses from 83 US employers. Forty-three percent of these companies have 500 or fewer employees, 23% have between 500 and 2,000 workers, 24% have a workforce of 2,000 to 10,000 and 10% have more than 10,000 employees.

The survey found that 77% of the employers offer voluntary benefits.