Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Gen Z Anticipates Retiring at 56, Are You Offering Them Retirement Benefits?

Yes, you read that headline correctly, the youngest generation in the workforce is already planning on leaving it once they hit the 34-year mark. And to think, we were just worrying about attracting them into the workplace!


Source: Cozine / Shutterstock

By some estimates, the oldest Gen Zer was born in 1997, which means if all goes according to their plans, they’ll start leaving the workforce around 2053. As an older Millennial, I’m only slightly bitter about this—thanks, student loan debt—but good for them … really! Sorry, I digress … recently released another installment of its 2019 State of the Candidate Report, this round focused on the changing definition of retirement. Respondents, ages 18- to 24-years old—and for this article, we’ll call them Gen Z—were asked: “At what age do you expect to retire?” They were given the following age ranges to choose from:
  • Before 50 years old
  • Between 50-59
  • Between 60-69
  • Between 70-79
  • Over 80 years old

Monster took the mean age from these responses and found that 56 was the age most Gen Zers expect to retire. When breaking down the data by actual responses, the bigger picture looks more reasonable:

  • Before 50 years old (22%)
  • Between 50-59 (19%)
  • Between 60-69 (47%)
  • Between 70-79 (8%)
  • Over 80 years old (5%)

With a little under half (47%) of Gen Z respondents choosing to retire between 60- and 69-years old, the headline shock disappears quickly! So no, Gen Zers haven’t lost their minds, but that doesn’t mean we should stop preparing!

Benefit Priorities for Gen Z

With Gen Z having such ambitious retirement goals, it would make sense that retirement benefits, like 401(k)s, would top their list of most important benefits when considering a new job. However, retirement benefits come in fourth place (49%), as 65% of respondents chose work/life balance as the most important benefit.
Ironically, Gen Z favors a better commute time (53%), over affordable health insurance (50%) and retirement savings (49%), yet this could change as Gen Z settles down and has families of their own. Furthermore, 45% of Gen Z respondents rank paid family leave as the fifth most important benefit, followed by comprehensive health insurance (41%).
And again, as Gen Z continues to age, we suspect their benefits priorities will shift to accommodate their changing lifestyles. As it currently stands, based on the latest Monster research, Gen Z favors work/life balance over health care and retirement savings, and if you aren’t currently offering a flexible workplace to allow this balance, you could be missing out on top young talent.
To learn more, or to view the full findings of Monster’s latest installment of State of the Candidate Report 2019: The Changing Definition of Retirement, click here.