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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one third of the workforce in the United States is made up of those over the age of 65, also known as Baby Boomers. While this may be the traditional retirement age, most people plan to keep working—some up until their mid-seventies.

For many business owners, this growing trend means that employee benefit needs for a multi-generational workforce have to be addressed.

In fact, the latest statistics show that by 2018:

  • 12.7 percent of the workforce will be 16-24 years of age.
  • 63.5 percent of the workforce will be 25-54 years of age.
  • 23.8 percent of the work force will be 54 years old and above.

Another Growing Trend

Let’s not forget the other growing workforce trend: Millennials. While the actual age of Millennials is often questioned, generally this group of individuals has a birth age ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000, according to most commentators and researchers.

Of course, there are still the Generation X workforce members, but Baby Boomers and Millennials are the most prevalent due to their growing numbers.

Flexibility is Key

When it comes to providing benefits for a company workforce, flexibility is key since not every benefits package will fit all three generations of employees.

For instance, many Baby Boomers will be attracted to a benefits package that focuses on retirement, extended benefits, and healthcare plans. Millennials will be more concentrated on student loan debt and Generation X workers may want a package that will aid in caring for their parents or even starting a family of their own. Flexible working options are an excellent idea for those employees of any age.

Flexible working options include offering benefits such as:

  • Investment Opportunities
  • Wellness Programs
  • Personal Counseling

For example, wellness programs work for all generations, offering access to on-site health screenings, wellness experts, gym memberships, and benefits that enrich the lifestyle of the employee. These are ideal to the employee as their quality of life will be increased along with helping prevent injury.

Multi-Generation Challenges

There are challenges when it comes to providing employee benefits for a multi-generation workforce simply because of diverse needs. It is not just the end result like paying off loans or looking forward to retirement—this also includes varied work and life philosophies.

There is a way, however, of providing benefits that fits the ideals all generations. These include:

  • Discount programs that employees can take advantage of
  • Benefits that are voluntary including but not limited to dental, life, and vision insurance
  • Flexible work hours
  • Financial counseling
  • Competitive performance-driven packages
  • The above-mentioned wellness packages and programs
  • Matching benefits
  • Paid time off offerings, which include family or personal needs

These benefits work well for all generations. Here is a breakdown of those benefits that cater specifically to Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials.

Baby Boomers

  • Life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Critical care insurance
  • Home warranty insurance
  • Retirement counseling
  • Savings options

Generation X

  • Child care options
  • Life insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Health insurance with a low deductible
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Comprehensive retirement counseling
  • Savings options
  • Long-term care insurance


  • Wellness plans with gym memberships
  • Travel rewards
  • ID theft protection
  • Continuing education tuition assistance
  • Accident insurance
  • Retirement savings education
  • Employee mentoring programs
  • Short-term disability

As you can see, the wants and needs of a multi-generational workforce are diverse, but not impossible to overcome. Establishing the proper plan that implements benefits that cover a little of everything will lead to a successful plan as many of the needs overlap throughout varying generations.