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When it comesA Matter of Opinion (Millennials) to employee benefits, where you are in life impacts what you feel is most important. LIMRA research finds Millennials place a greater level of importance on education and parental leave than Generation X (Gen X) and Baby Boomers. This is most likely because Millennials are more likely to be continuing their education and starting families than Gen X and Baby Boomers, who are often looking to protect their income and planning for retirement.

LIMRA finds 48 percent of Millennials believe educational benefits are an important employer benefit while only 34 percent of Gen X and just 20 percent of Baby Boomers say the same. Similarly 4 in 10 Millennials feel paid parental leave is important, however just 2 in 10 Gen X and 1 in 10 Baby Boomers agree.

The older generations place greater importance on disability insurance. About half of Gen X and 63 percent of Baby Boomers say disability insurance is one of the most valuable benefits offered by their employer, while less than a third of Millennials state the same. All generations agree that health insurance, retirement savings plan, paid vacation time and life insurance are a priority.

Knowing which benefits employees value can help employers better attract and retain employees. For example, companies that promote their disability insurance benefit may attract more Baby Boomers, while those who place greater emphasis on education benefits or paid parental leave may attract more Millennials.

The study, A Matter of Opinion: Employer and Employee Perceptions of Benefits Priorities and Strategies, also examines whether the size of the employer effects the benefits offered to employees. Surprisingly, small companies are more likely than large companies to say disability insurance is an important benefit. While only 39 percent of companies with more than 1,000 employees say disability insurance is an important benefit, half of companies with fewer than 99 employees said it was.

LIMRA research also found there was a disconnect in regards to employee benefit satisfaction. Seventy-eight percent of employers believe that employees are satisfied with their benefits, however just 52 percent of employees say they are satisfied with their benefits. When broken down by generation, Gen X employees are the most satisfied with their benefits (53 percent), followed by Millennials (52 percent). Baby Boomers report to be the least content with their benefits - only 49 percent say they are satisfied with the benefits the employer currently offers.

This disconnect indicates that employers are overestimating the effectiveness of their benefits package, which can effect employee retention rates, morale and productivity. Advisors and companies can use this research to help their clients develop a benefits program that aligns with their current employee demographics or one that attracts different employees desired in the future.

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