Young Adults Insured Under Parent Plans

Four Generation’s Retirement Savings

Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z make up the majority of the workforce today. As they work toward retiring someday, it’s important to understand the generations’ strengths and weaknesses when preparing to exit the workforce.

Generation Z (born 1997-2012) – While only a portion of this generation has entered the workforce, 62% of Gen Z workers reported, in a 2021 Vanguard study, that they participated in a workplace retirement plan. This participation is a significant increase compared to those of a similar age a decade prior. The reason for this increase is likely due to the Pension Protection Act which allowed employers to auto-enrollment employees in their retirement plans.

Millennials (born 1981-1996) – This generation didn’t benefit as much as Generation Z from auto-enrollments; however, they statistically are on track to retire more comfortably than late Boomers, according to Vanguard. Compared to previous generations, Millennials have experienced expanded access to retirement plans.

Generation X (born 1965-1980) – According to a Prudential study in 2023, around 35% of Gen Xers have less than $10,000 in retirement savings. Another 18% reported having no savings at all. By 2045, approximately $72.6 trillion is expected to be passed down from baby boomers and the Silent Generation to Gen X descendants; however, only 12% of Gen X survey respondents expect an inheritance to boost their retirement income.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) – Notably, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the younger baby boomers are in worse financial situations than late boomers. This decrease is likely due to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Additionally, late boomers were deeply affected by the Great Recession and the shift to 401(k) plans, which relied on individuals having work and being able to actively save during the time, which was not the case for many.

 

Employers are encouraged to understand each generation’s strengths and weaknesses when helping them prepare for retirement.