It’s no surprise that different generations put value in different things. What Baby Boomers value, in terms of employee benefits, is  different from Millennials or Gen Z. Despite the differences, there is also some common ground. We’ll review those things as well.

Employees that are on the verge of retiring have things that they want from their employers. This may be a good pension, some sort of lifetime healthcare, dental, and other things. Employees that are Millennials or Gen Z might be more focused on better healthcare coverage starting off and student loan support. Let’s start by looking at employees that are about to retire.

Benefits That Retiring Employees Look Forward To

Most employees in this category are going to be Baby Boomers. They bring a lot of experience and knowledge to a team and it’s always painful to see them go. Not only are they good for meeting your team’s goals, but they also likely have strong ties to your organization.

So, how can you best set them up for a fruitful retirement? What benefits are they most interested in? Here’s a short list showing what most retirees look forward to:

  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Legal services
  • Organizational discount programs

Some of these are pretty obvious. When Baby Boomers first got into the workforce pensions were a big thing. Now, not so much. Some sources say that only about 16 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer pensions.

The whole argument around pensions can get complicated. Baby Boomers viewed pensions as a golden ticket to a great retirement. While there might be better retirement alternatives, most of them don’t want to hear it. They want their pensions.

This kind of passion around a topic is very similar to how Millennials and Gen Z view certain benefits. A lot of Gen Z and, particularly Millennials, are in a lot of student loan debt. They also hold healthcare in very high regard for many reasons.

Benefits Important to Millennials and Gen Z

According to Business insider, the average student loan debt that most Millennials have is around $29,000 dollars. In some cases, this can be a lot more. This obviously creates an issue for people just starting out in the work world. Pair this with higher healthcare costs and most Millennials are in serious trouble.

This is why Millennials and Gen Z look for employers that offer some sort of student loan reimbursement assistance (SLRA) program. The IRS stated in a letter that companies can match student loan repayments with equal contributions to an employee’s retirement plan. This is a great way to attract good talent that might overlook your company because they feel like they can’t afford retirement.

Rising healthcare costs aren’t a surprise to anyone and all generations are impacted by this. How they want this problem to be addressed by employee benefits is what differs. Millennials and Gen Z are more health-focused and tend to lean toward things like organizational gym memberships, discounts for fitness-related products and services, and other things.

How to Balance the Needs of Retiring Baby Boomers and the New Generations

It’s important to remember to not filter a person in a category and then think that certain benefits will apply to them the best. While Millennials do have student loan debt, many Baby Boomers helped a child or grandchild through school. So a Baby Boomer can benefit from a good SLRA program as much as a millennial.

The same can be said for pensions. If offered the chance to get a pension, most people would at least consider it and ask for more information. So, how can you balance all these differences and meet the needs of your employees?

You can try using something like Benefits Zone. It makes managing open enrollment for HR easier because it seamlessly integrates with HRIS platforms. It also gives employees 24/7 access to their benefits and provides good education on their benefits. You owe it to all your employees, regardless of generation, to set them up for success so they can do the same for you. Contact us to learn more.