More guidance needed on benefits packages: report

A 60-page report, Talking About My Generation: Exploring the Benefits Engagement Challenge, stated that standard benefits packages in the UK were rendered ineffective because many workers did not have enough knowledge or help when it came to understanding them.

Based on a poll of more than 1200 people, in addition to six focus groups and individual interviews, the report revealed that 83 per cent of all employees confirmed that financial guidance was not available to them.

The younger generations in particular cited a lack of financial education or guidance, and 65 per cent of ‘generation Y’ employees – those born between 1981 and 1995 – said they would value this.

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The report also found that standard benefits packages did not fit the lifestyle needs of younger generations and were instead targeted at the baby-boomer age group.

The failure to meet these increasingly disparate needs meant that 15 per cent of employees born between 1981 and 1995, and a further 12 per cent of employees born after 1996, had considered leaving their job in the past 12 months to join employers which offered better benefits packages.

Some 60 per cent of all employees claimed that the availability of a comprehensive benefits package was a key factor when looking for a job.

However 85 per cent of respondents felt their current benefits packages failed to provide the support and flexibility required to meet present and future financial needs.

Five age groupsMaturist (born before 1945)Baby boomers (born 1945-1960)Generation X (born 1961-1980)Generation Y (born 1981-1995)Generation Z (born after 1995)
Percentage of UK workforce3%33%35%29%Employed either part-time or in apprenticeships

Paul Redmond, author of the report and academic at the University of Liverpool, said: “The existence of a multi-generational workforce has significant implications for today’s employers. Traditional benefits packages are not meeting the expectations and lifestyle needs of the younger generations in particular.”

Adviser View

Craig Harrison, adviser for London-based Creative Benefits, said: “There is a big untapped market among the younger generation and I’d like to see provision of employee benefits to that age group improve. One way that can be done is by offering more flexibility and financial education in the workplace. Auto-enrolment is also an opportunity to engage.”