While many employees obtain benefits information from their employers, another source of information, at least for Gen Y (ages 18 to 34), is family members and friends, according to survey results from Colonial Life.
Harris Interactive, on behalf of Colonial Life, surveyed 2,608 U.S. adults age 18 and older, among which 1,117 were employed full-time or part-time and enrolled in an employer-provided or spouse's benefits plan.
Naturally, employees rely on the workplace (e.g., boss, co-worker, human resources or employer communications) as their number one source of benefits information, but Gen Y employees are significantly less likely to rely on the workplace for information than all other age groups (51% vs. 69% of those ages 34 to 44, 51% vs. 75% of those ages 45 to 54, and 51% vs. 71% of those ages 55+. )
In turn, they are significantly more likely to rely on family and friends than other insured workers do (40% vs. 29% of those ages 35 to 44, 40% vs. 16% of those ages 45 to 54, and 40% vs. 12% of those ages 55+.) And, they are significantly less likely to rely on online resources (50%) than insured workers ages 45 to 54 (63%).
"While we expected the workplace to be the primary source of benefits information for employees, we were surprised to learn that Gen Y workers rely more on family and friends for this information than their older colleagues do," says Stephen Bygott, assistant VP, marketing analysis and programs, for Colonial Life. "Despite their reputation for being constantly wired, Gen Y is less likely to rely on insurance company and consumer advice websites than any other age group of workers," says Bygott. "And they're no more likely to rely on online forums or blogs than anyone else. But Gen Y has different needs, expectations and preferences than previous generations, so companies need to take a different approach when it comes to designing and communicating their benefits packages. Those who don't consider changes could risk losing their competitive edge and may be left behind."
Other findings include:
• Gen Y is more optimistic about future coverage at work. Almost half (45%) think most companies will continue to make the same type of benefits available at work in the next five years, which is significantly more than all other age groups (19% of those 35 to 44, 17% of those 45 to 54, and 16% of those age 55+.)
• Gen Y is less optimistic about their retirement resources. Only one third (33%) think government programs like Social Security will be available to them when they retire.
• They are also less optimistic about company-sponsored pension plans being available to them (24% vs. 34% of those ages 35 to 44, 24% vs. 37% of those ages 45 to 54, and 24% vs. 50% of those ages 55+).
• They are also less optimistic about company-sponsored retirement plans being available when they retire (51% vs. 60% of those ages 35 to 44, 51% vs. 63% of those ages 45 to 54, and 51% vs. 66% of those ages 55+).
• Gen Y insured employees, more than other age groups, say that they expect family assistance will be available to them for retirement support (17% vs. 8% of those ages 35 to 44, 7% vs. 6% of those ages 45 to 54, and 7% vs. 3% of those ages 55+.
Carrie Burns writes for Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access