Economic Slump Whips Up Gen Yers' Benefits Interest

April 27, 2009 ( - Forty-five percent of Generation Y workers say they want to better understand their workplace benefits - a desire driven by the slumping economy.

A news release from insurer MetLife about itsEmployee Benefits Trends Studysaid the nation’s economic woes have also motivated52% of Gen Y respondents to desire access to retirement planners, and 45% are interested in getting workplace access to benefits advisers.

Of the Gen Y respondents, only 35% are very satisfied with their workplace benefits and only 39% say they understand which benefits best meet their needs.

In 2007, 48% of Gen Y employees said insurance benefits such as life, disability, dental and vision coverage, were very significant factors affecting their feelings of loyalty to their employers. That percentage climbed to 71% in 2008. MetLife said these insurance benefits now fall within the top three primary factors influencing employee loyalty, after medical coverage and salary.

Benefits Happiness = Job Satisfaction

According to the news release, benefits satisfaction has a positive relationship with job satisfaction. In fact, among employees across all generations who said they were highly satisfied with their benefits, 73% were also satisfied with their jobs. Only 22% of those employees who were not satisfied with their benefits were satisfied with their jobs.

“Since Gen Y workers obtain the majority of their financial protection products at the workplace, employers have a tremendous opportunity to develop a benefits program that can help retain this mobile demographic – a big win both for employers looking to grow their talent base and for employees who are interested in obtaining valuable assistance in building secure financial safety nets for themselves and their families,” said Todd Katz, senior vice president, Institutional Business, MetLife, in the news release.

In terms of their general finances, more than half (53%) of Gen Y employees say they are now living paycheck to paycheck – up from 50% in 2007 – versus 44% of their older associates. Nearly three in four (73%) are very concerned about having enough money to make ends meet, compared to 56% of Generation X employees and 62% of Baby Boomers.

The MetLife study surveyed full-time Generation Y employees born between 1977 and 1987; Generation X employees born between 1965 and 1976; and Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964.

More than 1,500 interviews were conducted with benefits decision-makers at companies with two or more employees, representing a mix of industries and geographic regions, and more than 1,300 interviews were conducted with full-time employees, age 21 and over, at companies with a minimum of two employees.

More information is available at .