Gen X Wants Richer Retirement Benefits

While other generations would prefer more vacation time, Generation X would value richer retirement benefits, a survey finds.

New research from MassMutual finds that employee preferences for healthcare insurance, retirement savings, vacation and other benefits largely hinge upon generation and gender.

Overall, 44% of American workers age 18 or older would prefer better 401(k) matches, and 14% would prefer more investment choices in their retirement plans. But, better 401(k) matches was the top choice for Generation X (ages 36 to 49), while it was the third choice (35%) for Generation Y (ages 18 to 35) after more vacation and a flexible work schedule, and tied with expanded health care for the second choice (43%) for Baby Boomers (ages 50 to 70) after more vacation.

Boomers (24%) would like more investment choices in their retirement plans, more so than Gen Y (13%) or Gen X (11%).

According to Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual Retirement Services and Worksite Insurance, the findings most likely reflect that few Gen Xers have access to pensions and that many Boomers have not saved enough for retirement.

Employees say their finances are very important to them, but they are not backing up those words with actions. Employees spend much less time reviewing their personal finances or thinking about their employer-provided benefits than doing things deemed less important, like watching television or looking at their social media pages.

The study also found 40% of workers overall would like no health care premiums and 38% would like expanded health care offerings. These benefits were chosen by more Baby Boomers (38% and 43%, respectively) than Gen Y (27% and 28%) or Gen X (32% and 37%).

The study focused on 1,517 working Americans who were in a wide variety of jobs and industries, and at least age 18. More findings can be found here.