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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Noteworthy: Millennials and Benefits

August 10, 2016

Check out these recently released reports for some rich details about millennials and their perspectives and behaviors regarding retirement and benefits.

Millennials and Retirement: Surprising Insights on America's Youngest Workers, published by Ramsey Solutions, suggests that this younger worker cohort, more so than all other generations who are currently part of the U.S. workforce, is actually better prepared to achieve retirement security. In part, this is based on findings that millennials have started to save at a much younger age than previous generations. Yet, challenges do remain for this group, including maintaining a commitment to continue saving for decades to come.

This early interest in saving among millennials seems to bear out in the recent Generational Research 2016 report by Financial Finesse, which suggests that millennials are showing some real financial savvy at their young age, setting goals to maintain day-to-day cash flow and get out of debt, and keeping on top of their credit reports. Even so, they haven't yet shown as much interest in setting specific longer-term investment and retirement planning goals, and fewer are investing enough to capture their full employer match. The report suggests that financial education employing a range of technology tools could provide a boost to millennials in their financial understanding and retirement investment participation.

Meanwhile, according to Millennial Survey: Young Adults' Healthcare Reality, a Transamerica Center for Health Studies survey, less than one-third of millennials are currently saving for healthcare expenses, and nearly half of this generational cohort say they are skipping care or delaying treatment as a means to minimize healthcare costs.

And, millennials are, overall, less engaged with employee benefits than are baby boomers and Generation X employees, according to research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. EBRI's 2015 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey suggests that, while health insurance remains an important benefit regardless of employee age, the lure of traditional benefits to accept a job is much less potent among millennials. They are also more open to taking money spent on benefits (other than health insurance) and determining on their own whether to purchase certain benefits or how much to purchase.