Gen Y More Knowledgeable about Benefits

February 7, 2011 ( - Over the past two years, the youngest generation in the workforce has become more engaged in learning about the benefits that can help protect them financially, according to a comparison of studies by Unum.

The percentage of members of generation Y who said they are extremely/very familiar with life insurance jumped from 31% in the 2008 study to 44% in the 2010 study. The percentage who said they are extremely/very familiar with retirement accounts grew from 31% to 43%. The percentage who said they are extremely/very familiar with disability insurance increased from 16% to 24%.   

According to a press release, the 2010 study showed the workplace continues to be Gen Y’s most reliable source for benefits information, with 68% of respondents citing it as a top resource. However, they are also more likely to seek out information about financial protection benefits online than they were just two years ago.   

The percentage that uses insurance company Web sites to learn about benefits providers grew from 32% in 2008 to 44% in 2010. The percentage that visits consumer advice Web sites grew from 21% to 27%.  The percentage that participates in online forums or blogs increased from 7% to 12%.   

As their use of online resources grew, generation Y’s reliance on family and friends as a source of benefits information diminished. Between 2008 and 2010, the percentage who said they rely on parents for benefits information fell from 60% to 42%. The percentage citing friends as a resource for benefits guidance dropped from 30% to 21%.   

The 2010 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Unum from August 17-19, 2010, among 387 Gen Y respondents (ages 18-32) employed full- or part-time. The 2008 survey was conducted from August 12-14, 2008, among 357 Gen Y respondents (ages 18-30) employed full- or part-time.