Zillennials at Work



Robust benefits packages are extremely important to Zillennials—the “micro generation” of employees in the 24-29 range. According to new survey data, so is having a sense of purpose on the job and a work culture that attends to social and mental health, while supporting flexibility and work-life balance. What exactly are Zillennials looking for? A lot!


Wanting More

Metlife’s new study,The Rise of the Whole Employee: 20 Years of Change in Employer-Employee Dynamics,” found: “27% of Zillennials surveyed, or those born between 1993 and 1998, have considered leaving their employer for a more robust benefits package over the past year, compared to 19% of all employees.”  Moreover, “benefits” for this group mean much more then a retirement plan and health insurance:


Limiting workplace benefits to retirement plans and health insurance likely won’t cut it for Zillennial workers, the MetLife study found. The micro-generation is increasingly interested in student loan debt assistance, with 50% saying the benefit is a “must have,” according to the report. While traditional benefits remain highly important, the study found that since 2017, the appeal of life insurance spiked 23 percentage points and that of hospital indemnity insurance increased 19 percentage points for workers in the age range.


Despite having less time in the workplace then other age cohorts, Zillenials are also the least satisfied: 53% say that a primary stressor is “having an unfulfilling job.” This feeling resonates cross generations in the workplace: in general, worker satisfaction is at a 20-year low, according to the study from Metlife. In sum, the findings point to the importance of employers thinking ever more holistically about what is offered to employees. As a spokesperson for Metlife points out:


“It’s clear we’ve reached a critical inflection point in the workplace, and employers across industries should not only be taking note but should also see this as an important opportunity for reflection and growth,” Katz added. “As employees rethink not only how, but also why they work, Zillennials are quickly setting a new standard for evaluating the employee experience. By using this generation’s expectations as a barometer for success, employers can evolve to meet their needs in stride–which is important, particularly as Zillennials gain a stronger foothold in the workforce.”


With worker interest in benefits high, retirement plan sponsors are looking at enhancements to increase access, engagement and opportunities for financial education and planning. It’s of course also important for plan sponsors to deepen their understanding of their working to offer plan enhancements, are advised to remember their fiduciary responsibilities for ensuring all participants are benefitting from the plan. Given disruptions in the marketplace—and workplace, it’s also a good time to update risk management plans, ensuring current and comprehensive coverage. Under the high standards of ERISA law, even the allegation of a fiduciary can disrupt plan sponsors from their businesses —and put personal assets at risk. Why take unnecessary chances? Colonial’s ERISA Protection Pack includes both Fiduciary and Cyber Liability Insurance—providing you with:


  1. Legal defense and coverage for penalties against claims of alleged or actual breaches of fiduciary duties.
  2. Defense against lawsuits and regulatory actions related to a cyber breach.
  3. Expert-led response, notification and crisis management services to prevent a cyber incident from spiraling into a disaster.


The  annual cost  of our ERISA Protection Pack  is less than the fee for one hour of expert legal defense if a lawsuit or regulatory challenge strikes you and your business.

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Good To Know

Metlife’s study offers clues to what Zillenials are looking for in workplace and benefit policies:

Workers who are satisfied with their flexibility at work are more likely to plan to stay at their organization for 12 months (84%), versus employees who are unsatisfied with employer-provided flexibility (47%)…When workers were asked which benefits would most improve their well-being, Zillennials said that paid and unpaid leave benefits (74%); work-life management programs (67%); mental wellness benefits, including employee assistance programs and reimbursement for therapy sessions (62%); and programs to support their financial needs (55%) were top priorities, the study found.

Studies are also finding that small business owners are increasing benefits in line with employee interest. Specifically,  27% are adding a retirement matching contribution, financial wellness program and/or retirement account. Given the depth of challenges the average worker faces on the path to retirement, these efforts are ever more important. For example, according to a new Schroders survey, among those workers who have retired: “Just 3% described their situation as ‘living the dream,’ while some 37% said they are comfortable. Another 37% said retirement is ‘not great, not bad,’ and 18% are struggling. This leaves 5% ‘living the nightmare’…”


With so much important work on their to-do lists, retirement plan sponsors across the country rely on Colonial Surety for efficient, affordable and comprehensive protection. Colonial’s Three Point Coverage Package gives plan sponsors the greatest value and protection, providing: the required ERISA bond to protect the assets of the retirement plan from theft; Fiduciary Liability coverage to protect you and your assets from personal liability; and, Cyber Liability coverage to safeguard your company and plan from covered losses and expenses in the event of a cyber breach.


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Serving customers since 1930, Colonial Surety is the trusted source for the pension industry to secure legally required ERISA bonds, fiduciary liability insurance and cyber-liability insurance. We help safeguard plan sponsors, pension professionals and financial advisors — and keep their businesses compliant — with pain-free, efficient, and friendly service every time.


Colonial Surety Company is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, US Treasury listed and in business all across the country.