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Younger employees want health benefits that meet their needs: survey

BY Jennifer Paterson, | February 2, 2017

Only 37% of millennial and generation Z employees who have access to workplace health benefits feel their plan fully meets their needs, according to new research by Sun Life Canada.

“I looked at that statistic more in terms of the opportunities to build even further on programs, to enhance them and make them more customized and flexible to the needs of every employee,” says Brigitte Parent, senior vice-president of group benefits for Sun Life Canada.

Among the needs highlighted in the survey are a strong desire for flexibility and increased coverage, mental health initiatives and financial health support. When given the option to choose flexibility or increased coverage, survey respondents indicated a need for both, at 45% and 46%, respectively.

A majority of both millennial (76%) and generation Z (78%) respondents also acknowledged mental health as central to their overall health. And 70% of all survey respondents said they believe their employers have a responsibility in supporting their financial health.

“There are a number of things that we saw, around a strong desire for flexibility, where people are really looking for the ability to customize a program and make it more tailored to their own needs; looking for more support around financial health and financial planning; and also mental-health support, especially as there is a lot of stress in the workplace and a lot of people are feeling stressed about their own finances, how can their employers support them,” says Parent.