MetLife Finds Younger Employees Concerned about Income Protection

October 27, 2010 ( – MetLife said its 8th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study approximately one out of two Gen Y employees does not feel very confident about their ability to make the right financial decisions for their families.

The study found that about seven out of ten Gen Y employees are very concerned about having enough money to pay bills during a period of sudden income loss. Of those Gen Y employees that say they have disability income insurance coverage, one-third (35%) are unsure how much of their income is protected.  

In addition, about half of Gen Y employees are very concerned about the financial impact of their premature death on their families. Despite being younger than their co-workers this concern level is approximately the same, MetLife said.  

In a press release,  Ronald Leopold, vice president, U.S. Business for MetLife, offers the following tips for employees during open enrollment season: 

  • Disability Income Insurance – When reviewing your disability income insurance, consider how much income you would need to sustain mortgage payments, food and clothing costs, transportation needs and debt payments if you were unable to work. Determine the percentage of income your employer’s group plan covers, what the waiting period is before benefits begin and the length of time that you’d be covered. As a rule of thumb, you should look to replace 60 to 75 percent of your total taxable earnings.  
  • Life Insurance – If you have children or people who depend on the money you earn, you need life insurance. A good starting place is coverage equal to outstanding debt plus five years of salary. Outstanding debt could include mortgage, car payments and student loans. Look at opportunities to supplement or “buy-up” additional amounts of coverage beyond what an employer may fund.  
  • Medical coverage – When looking at your medical coverage, two key considerations can help you determine which plan is best for you. Do you want to spend less out-of –pocket with a limited network of doctors? If that is the case, a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan may be the best option for you. If you’re willing to pay more in premiums so that you have the flexibility to choose any doctor, a Point-of –Service (POS) or Preferred-Provider-Organization (PPO) plan may fit your needs.  
  • Dental Benefits – Your employer’s dental benefits may offer you a choice between a Dental HMO and PPO or two PPO plans. As with medical coverage, you have a lesser potential out-of-pocket cost for an HMO with access to a more limited network of doctors. A PPO will have greater out-of-pocket cost potential but offer you broader access to network dentists. Be an educated consumer. Understand your oral health needs and how they relate to key attributes of your plan options. Is choice of dentists important for primary care as well as specialty care? If you travel, do you have access for emergency care? Going to in-network dentists can save money. Learn what your plan does and does not cover. For those services not covered by your plan, ask your dentist if he or she offers discounts because of the insurance carrier’s relationship. Although they may not be obligated to, some dentists may charge the insurance carrier’s negotiated fee for non-covered services for certain services.  
  • Voluntary Benefits – Look to strengthen your safety net through voluntary benefits (benefits where most if not all of the premium is paid by the employee). Over the past few years, many employers have expanded their voluntary offerings. Voluntary benefits typically provide a cost savings because of group rates and the convenience of being paid for through payroll deduction. Voluntary benefits offered through your employer may include automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, legal plans, critical illness insurance, or even pet insurance.  


According to the press release, MetLife also offers the Employee Benefits Simplifier, a free online tool available at, that can assist with Open Enrollment decisions by helping them identify which benefits are right for them and offering suggested life stage recommendations, particularly when it comes to coverage levels and benefits selections.