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Developing Benefit Plans for All Members in a Multi-Generational Workforce

By Tracey Lewis | Nov 29, 2017

Formulating the right benefit plans for all members can be a Herculean task, especially when there's a sizable age range involved. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that over one-in-three of today's American workers are millennials, who surpassed Generation X in 2015 to make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce. Given this current climate, members' benefit plan needs can span from maternity care to long-term care.

So, how can benefit administrators craft comprehensive and affordable benefit plans for all members?

Millennials

According to a recent study by Bentley University, 96 percent of millennials reported that a great health care benefits package would be the most important factor when choosing between two equal jobs. This data contradicts popular wisdom that this generation prefers pay raises or other incentives over desirable health care options.

Many millennials aren't particularly concerned with coverage for medical emergencies. Citing a report from Aflac, Mashable noted that only 17 percent of millennials surveyed were worried about contracting a serious illness, while just 18 percent envisioned themselves developing diabetes or heart disease.

Older millennials may be more aligned with Gen Xers in terms of benefit needs. This is because they may be reaching more milestone life events, such as having children, buying a home or helping care for aging parents.

Generation X

In contrast to millennials, Gen Xers are most concerned about health care expenses, according to a Lincoln Financial Group survey. Inundated with information on the many available plans — retirement, health care, 401(k) — these members need to think about coverage for chronic illnesses, short- and long-term care and accidental injury coverage. As such, Gen Xers need you to provide detailed, streamlined information on available benefits so that they can fully understand their options.

Baby Boomers

Today's baby boomers are delaying their retirement. These members continue working due to a variety of factors, ranging from preventing financial insecurity to embracing their sense of purpose. But whatever the reason they choose to stay at work, this broad change in the American workforce landscape — where younger workers may work alongside a sizable number of more tenured individuals — must be addressed through creating comprehensive benefits plans for all members.

Benefits administrators must take the lead role in reaching out to all segments of members to craft attractive, comprehensive and affordable plans. By focusing on communication and collaboration, you can help the fund continue to attract and retain a strong membership.

Tracey Lewis, journalist and author, focuses primarily on B2B health care, financial services and other internal corporate communications. Author of a best-selling, pop-culture book published by Random House Books, and a trained oral historian, Tracey also enjoys delving into music, arts and film content. Skilled in SEO optimization and digital storytelling, she knows how to collaborate with communications, policy, research, legal and designer teams to create and execute cohesive content strategies.

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