Prudential Identifies the Top 5 Trends

Prudential’s Fifth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today and Beyond illuminates the effects of changing workplace demographics and the economic environment on emerging  employee benefits. The report identifies 5 major trends that are driving employee benefits today.

In this post, we will examine trend #4: addressing a diverse workforce.

  1. An employee driven benefits model is arising – link to part 1.
  2. Worker productivity is the next frontier in benefits cost management link to part 2.
  3. Enrollment is being redefined to help make better choices – link to part 3.
  4. An increasingly diverse workforce must be addressed.
  5. The realities of preparing for a secure retirement are changing – link to part 5.

Trend #4: Addressing A Diverse Workforce

The US Workforce has Changed Dramatically

  • The share of women has grown from 30% to 47% today, and is expected to increase.
  • Older workers (55+) are trending up (from 13% in 2000 to 19% in 2050)
  • Hispanics, 11% in 2000 will double to 24% by 2050.
  • Asians will grow from 5% to 11% by 2050.

Cultural Differences Can Affect Benefit Choices

  • Asians tend to:
    • place less importance on benefits.
    • place less importance on personal and financial concerns.
  • African Americans are more likely to:
    • value tailored communications.
    • value being notified of benefit or status changes during life events.
    •  speak to a financial professional on a toll free number at enrollment.
    • be interested in additional information on life and dental benefits.

Cultural Differences Can Affect Benefit Choices

  • Women tend to:
    • prefer to receive benefits information email at work rather than at home.
    • take a more active role in learning about benefits.
    • be more likely to speak to friends/colleagues about benefit decisions.
    • be more likely to attend enrollment meetings.
  • Men tend to:
    • be more likely to be married than divorced
    • be more likely to speak to their spouses about benefit decisions.

An Aging Workforce Presents Challenges

Older workers are understandably more concerned about retirement and long term care.

  • Ages 45 – 65 more highly value: “having retirement savings last as long as needed.”
  • Ages 25 – 54 are more likely to be concerned about saving for retirement.
  • Ages 55 – 64 are more likely to say a family member needed Long Term Care in the past 2 years, and rate it a greater concern.

Employers May Not Understand the Importance of Adopting Benefit Strategies to Diverse Workers

  • Fewer employers in 2010 rate a multicultural workforce a highly important issue (19%) than in 2000 (25%.)
  • Those who enroll via internet are more likely to spend more time enrolling.
  • Those who enroll via paper are less likely to rate the benefit communications as effective.

Company Size and Type Affects Diversity

  • Size:
    • Smaller companies tend to attract more Asian workers.
    • Larger companies employ significantly more African American workers and men.
  • Fields:
    •  Education and health care tend to be more diverse and have more women than men.
    • Workers in these fields tend to value tailored communications more.
    • They also tend to have more interest than other industries in receiving info by mail at home.
    • Professional services and manufacturing tend to be less diverse and more male.
    • Professional services tend to prefer communications by email and online presentations at work.


Upcoming posts will highlight the other emerging trends identified in Prudential’s Fifth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today and Beyond.

Snap! principle of a diverse workforce:

Understanding the preferences of workforce demographics can be important in maximizing enrollment.