WINDSOR, Conn., May 10, 2023— New LIMRA research reveals today’s younger workers expect a broader array of benefit offerings from their employers. While a majority of younger workers consider traditional benefits (such as paid time off, medical, and retirement savings plans) very important, they also prioritize non-traditional benefits, including flexible work schedules, emergency savings benefits, tuition reimbursement, and financial, mental and health wellness programs.
“While salary remains the number one consideration for many workers, the majority of workers (56%) rank something other than salary as their top priority when evaluating a new employer,” said Patrick Leary, corporate vice president and head of LIMRA’s workplace benefits research. “Employers must offer a comprehensive benefits package to attract and keep their workers. Our research suggests younger workers want greater flexibility and support to help them achieve a well-balanced life.”
In its second year, LIMRA’s 2023 BEAT Study: Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker, provides an in-depth look at workers’ perceptions about their benefits and their employer. This year’s study suggests younger employees’ satisfaction with their benefits improves the likelihood that they will remain with their employer. According to the research, nearly two-thirds of millennial workers (65%) and half of Gen Z workers say their current benefits package makes them at least somewhat more likely to remain with their employer.
“In this competitive job market, offering an attractive benefits package is only an advantage if the employees are aware and understand the benefits available to them,” noted Leary. “Our study showed just 55% of employees feel they understand their benefits very or extremely well.”
The study finds workers with more educational resources available to learn about their benefits are more likely to be knowledgeable and satisfied with their benefits package, which will position them to make better decisions. Overall workers report using online resources, in-person meetings, and printed materials the most to learn about their benefits. Millennial and Gen Z workers are more likely than older generations to rely on email, phone, and online chat to learn about benefits.
External factors influencing workers’ benefits decision
Generally speaking, workers make benefit selections based on their personal needs, risk factors and recent life changes. Economic uncertainty and the residual impact of COVID-19 also have influenced workers’ benefit choices. More than half of all workers said inflation and the potential for an economic downturn affected their benefits decisions. Millennials and Gen Z workers were more likely to worry about economic conditions and as a result could be more hesitant to spend additional money on benefits, opting instead to hold onto their money in case of economic hardship. Companies should communicate the risks of not having coverage and reinforce the value of workplace benefits.
In a 2020 LIMRA study, 54% of workers viewed their benefits as more valuable because of the pandemic. Today, 4 in 10 said COVID-19 continues to influence the benefits they select. Again, younger workers were more likely to say concerns about COVID-19 influenced their decisions.
“Understanding workers’ mindsets — particularly those in younger generations — will enable employers and providers to better position the benefits available and communicate their value,” said Leary. “Despite emerging negative economic indicators, the job market remains strong. One way employers can edge out their competition is to offer a robust workplace benefits package and educate their workers about those benefits throughout the year.”
Serving the industry since 1916, LIMRA offers industry knowledge, insights, connections, and solutions to help more than 700 financial services member organizations navigate change with confidence. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.