What Does Each Generation Value for Employee Benefits?

In this blog post our experts at Benefit Strategies Inc. will take a look at employee benefits by generation, where we can see there are some marked differences.

We live in a unique time where the North American workforce is comprised of four generations of workers that represent a diverse age group. It’s no wonder that the needs and wants of each age group will also define the employee benefits by generation.

What are the Generations?

The generation born between 1927 and 1945 is known as the Mature/Silent generation. Many have since passed on and most of those that still remain have retired and no longer contribute to the workforce.

The four generations that currently make up our North American workforce include:

  1. Baby Boomers – born 1946 to 1964 (76 million US births)
  2. Generation Xers – born 1965 to 1980 (82 million US births)
  3. Millennials or Generation Y – born 1981 to 2000 (73 million US births)
  4. Generation Z – born 2001 to present (74 million US births)

Even though most baby boomers are approaching retirement age, many are still in the workforce primarily due to today’s high cost of living. However, you can define employee benefits by generation based on the different challenges and different needs and wants for each age group.

Types of Employee Benefits by Generation

Because we still have such a diverse range of ages in the workforce, employers must look at their different needs and offer the types of benefits for employees that meet all age groups. Today’s employers are recognizing the need for employee benefits by generation, so most benefit packages tend to be customized.

Many of today’s older generations, like Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, are caring for their elders as well as their children. They tend to lean towards security and health and wellness benefits, which may include, among others:

  • Health Insurance Benefits
  • Life Insurance Benefits
  • Retirement Benefits/Accounts
  • Estate Planning Advice
  • Long Term Care
  • Vison Coverage
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance

Millennial (Generation Y) employees tend to request specific employee benefits such as:

  • Dental Coverage
  • Financial Wellness Packages
  • Wellness Programs
  • Healthcare Spending Accounts
  • Reimbursement Accounts
  • Long (and Short) Term Disability Benefits
  • Travel/Commuting Assistance
  • Relocation Assistance

The younger Generation Z (and some Generation Y) employees tend to request more lifestyle employee benefits. Many want to work remotely and may request benefits such as:

  • Flexible Work Hours
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Paid Vacation Time
  • Gym Memberships/Discounts
  • Telecommuting Options
  • Sick Days, Vacation Days, and other Paid Time Off


Every company wants their employees to be more productive and more successful. The priorities for employees, on the other hand, are quite different. Regardless of age, employees are mostly concerned about personal and financial self-improvement.

By understanding your employees’ priorities and addressing employee benefits by generation and their specific needs, you can ensure your company’s continued success.

About Benefits Strategies Inc.

Benefit Strategies Inc. specializes in building custom employee benefits packages as well as executive benefits programs. We are located in Edmonton Alberta and serve clients throughout the Western Provinces as well as the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

If your business has a staff of 10 or more employees, we can help you design and implement an affordable and competitive employee benefits package. Please call our us at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.

Visit this article to learn more about Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z.