A Generation Gap in Benefits Preferences

What employee benefit would most American workers choose if they could? A new survey suggests that it depends upon their generation and gender.

Overall, 47% of American workers age 18 and older prefer more vacation time, though nearly as many (44%) preferring better 401(k) matches, according to the 2015 MassMutual Generations@Work Study.

Generation Vexed?

Looking at the generation breakdown, half of all Boomers surveyed (50%) and 48% of Millennials said they would opt for more vacation days if they could, according to the study. However, nearly half of Gen Xers (47%) prefer better 401(k) matches, the survey found, with more vacation days coming in a close second (44%).

Other Boomer preferences:

43% – better 401(k) matches
43% – expanded healthcare benefits
38% – free healthcare coverage
24% – more investment choices for their retirement savings

Millennials prefer:

43% – flexible work schedules
30% – reimbursements for education and tuition

Gender Gaps

Men’s benefits of choice were more vacation time (50%), better 401(k) matches (43%) and flexible work schedules (39%), while women opted for more vacation (44%), better 401(k) matches and flexible work schedules (40%), expanded healthcare premiums (37%) and free gym memberships (31%).

In addition, there were bigger disparities between men and women when it came to benefits such as free gym memberships (men: 20%; women: 31%), education/tuition reimbursement (men: 18%, women: 27%), and more investment choices for retirement (men: 18%, women: 11%), according to the study.

The research was conducted on MassMutual’s behalf by KRC Research as part of an employee benefits education initiative. The study focused on 1,517 working Americans who were at least age 18 in a wide variety of jobs and industries.

Add Your Comments

One Comment

  1. Chris
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I guess “having a defined benefit pension plan” was not a survey option?

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