NEW YORK (MainStreet) Job offers are not just about a bigger paycheck. American workers have their finger on the trigger when it comes to considering making a career move, but benefits are often the swing factor. More than three-quarters (76%) of Millennials (18- to 35-year-old adults) say that retirement benefits offered by a prospective employer are a major factor in their decision to accept a job offer. And two-thirds (67%) say they would be likely to switch employers for a nearly identical job with better retirement benefits, according to new research conducted by the Transamerica Center.
It's a fact, most Gen Y workers -- 90% in fact -- value their 401(k). And they are doing an excellent job of using their employer-sponsored retirement plan to save for the future even though fewer Millennial workers (69%) are offered a 401(k) with their current employer than Gen X (79%) or Baby Boomer (78%) employees.
Young adults seem to be the savviest savers of all. Fully 70% of Millennials are already saving for retirement through a 401(k) or similar plan and began doing so at the unprecedented median age of 22. Generation X didn't get into the game until age 27 and Baby Boomers started at age 35 though 401(k) plans weren't widely available when most Boomers started their working careers. The 401(k) as we know it today came into existence in the early '80s.
And Millennials are taking the most advantage of workplace retirement plans, contributing about 8% of their annual salary more than Gen X (7%) and just less than closer-to-retirement Baby Boomers (10%). When companies offer a matching contribution, Millennial participation in a plan rises from 65% to 80% -- and their deferral rate climbs to 10%, too.
Those in the young workforce is wise about how they invest, as well with 62% opting for professionally managed accounts rather than going it alone. Such accounts can be in the form of an investment service, risk allocation funds or target date funds.
Gen Y's retirement account balances reflect their higher savings rate and prudent investment strategies. From 2007 to 2014, median account balances for Millennial workers increased substantially, from $9,000 to $32,000.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet