A third (36 per cent) of millennials are willing to pay more for more generous workplace health-care plans, up from 27 per cent who said the same in 2013, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

The Canadian findings of the survey, which polled more than 30,000 private sector employees in 19 countries, also found 56 per cent of millennials are willing to pay a higher amount for a guaranteed retirement benefit, compared to 65 per cent of Generation X and 71 per cent of baby boomers.

“While pay and bonus is a top focus for all generations, especially millennials who are struggling with heavy debt loads and stagnant wages, employees across the spectrum are feeling vulnerable about their long-term security,” said Todd Nelson, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson. “Employees young and old have a strong desire for more security and are willing to give up pay to get more guarantees or more generous benefits.”

Read: Sounding Board: Millennials’ tendency to invest like Grandpa a challenge for financial industry

When asked to rank their top priorities if offered a choice by their employer, 44 per cent of millennials selected pay and bonus. The survey found millennials are also much more likely to embrace non-traditional benefits like wellness programs and work-life balance compared to baby boomers, with millennials saying they would allocate 52 per cent of their benefits allowance to non-traditional or lifestyle benefits.

While convenience around benefits enrollment, benefits choice and cost levels ranked as top priorities among all generations, more millennials said online access via the web and other applications were a priority.

Read: 62% of Canadians would pay for better retirement benefit: survey

“While all generations continue to place a priority on retirement and health care plans, millennials in particular show a strong interest in a broader range of benefits, such as lifestyle benefits for example, that help support short- and long-term health and financial well-being and security,” said Ofelia Isabel, a senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson.

“To help ensure they are allocating their benefits dollars effectively, employers can analyze their different employee groups to understand characteristics such as life-stages, objectives and preferences. From there, they can provide targeted communication, benefits and tools that support their employees’ specific needs.”

Read: How to support Generation Z employees

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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