Millennials require a more hands-on approach to education about employer-sponsored benefit offerings, new research shows, emphasizing a real need for benefits education from qualified advisers.

Many young professionals entering the workforce lack the knowledge to make an informed decision about their benefit programs when compared with older generations who have been in the workforce for decades, according to the MetLife U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study released Monday at the carrier’s 12th annual Nationals Benefits Symposium.

Fifty-two percent of millennials have a good understanding about their life insurance offerings, compared with 69% of baby boomers. Similarly, only 38% of millennials have an understanding of long term disability insurance, compared with 57% of boomers.

Todd Katz, executive vice president, group, voluntary and worksite benefits at MetLife says millennials represent the largest portion of the American workforce.

“By the year 2020 nearly half of workers will be millennials,” Katz says. “With only 44% of employees feeling in control of their finances, employers today have a unique opportunity to drive loyalty and retention by empowering employees to make informed benefits decisions.”

When examining millennials, the study discovered that many millennials are looking to their employers for help when it comes to addressing financial matters. Just under half of millennials said they want their employer to help them solve their financial concerns.

This response is more than double the number of employees from the baby boomer generation who want to have a more personal connection when it comes to financial matters.

Nearly two-thirds of employees say they are looking to their employer for more help in achieving financial security through employee benefits, compared with 49% in 2011.

Increased loyalty and security

According to the study, 45% of employees say they plan to continue working at their current job 12 months from now, a 4% increase from the same pole that was given out in 2015.

Not only were employees committed to staying with their current employer for another year, but multiple generations, including baby boomers, Generation X and millennials all showed over 50% of them are committed to their employer’s goals.

“By the year 2020 nearly half of workers will be millennials."

Employees are also unclear as to the practical and financial value of voluntary benefits, with only 47% of employees agreeing that non-medical benefits can help them limit their out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Further, 65% of millennials are without a savings cushion of three months, which could lead to a financial drain on their bank accounts.
For employers and their advisers, there is an opportunity to evolve into a more consultative role and provide meaningful education and training of employees, while also engendering loyalty.

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