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Employees — particularly millennial workers — want financial help from their employers, a new study shows.
According to a MetLife Inc. study released Monday, 62% of employees say they look to their employer for help in achieving financial security through employee benefits.
That's up from 49% in 2011, MetLife said in a statement announcing the study results.
Millennial workers are most interested in financial help at work: 44% of millennials say they want their employer to help them solve their financial concerns, while 20% of baby boomers do, according to MetLife.
Furthermore, 75% of millennial workers say their employers have a responsibility for the financial well-being of their employees, MetLife said.
However, many younger employees are confused about which employee benefits can help them reach financial security.
The study showed that 52% of millennial workers said they understand life insurance, compared with 69% of baby boomers. And 38% of millennials reported that they understand long-term disability insurance, compared with 57% of baby boomers, according to the study.
The value of voluntary benefits is also a cause of confusion for most employees. Just 47% of workers agree that non-medical benefits can help them limit their out-of-pocket medical expenses.
In the statement, MetLife said decision-support tools and personalized benefits offerings are necessary for workers to make educated benefits decisions during enrollment, which in turn will help reduce their financial stress. Personal financial counseling may also help.
The study found that 68% of millennials value one-on-one consultations with a benefits expert, while 62% of Generation X and 57% of baby boomers do.
“With only 44% of employees feeling in control of their finances, employers today have a unique opportunity to drive loyalty and retention by empowering employees to make informed benefits decisions,” Todd Katz, executive vice president of group, voluntary and worksite benefits at MetLife, said in the statement.
The study, conducted from November through January, is based on employer and employee surveys, according to MetLife. The employer survey comprised 2,508 interviews with benefits decision-makers at companies with at least two employees, and the employee survey comprised 2,612 interviews with full-time employees at companies with at least two employees.
The small group of employers paying their employees' student loans continues to expand as mounting national student debt keeps workers from saving for retirement or reaching major life milestones, like buying a home.