Two million students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree this year and enter the workforce. MAVY Poll surveyed recent graduates on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs to determine which employee benefits would most help them achieve their financial goals as they begin their job search.

“The job market, and therefore the employee benefits market, is constantly evolving. These days, finding the perfect job is about a lot more than money,” says Gregory J. Anton, Chairman of AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

Top 5 Must-Have Employee Benefits for Millennials

5. 401(k) Retirement Fund Match was in the top three desired employee benefits for more than 35 percent of millennials. Recently, it’s become clear most Americans have not saved enough for retirement, if they’ve saved any at all, which might be motivating millennials to prioritize retirement funding.

“By beginning to save towards retirement as early as possible, new graduates will benefit from decades of compounding growth. Time is an asset, and those just starting their career are in a prime position to take advantage of it,” says Anton.

4. Working Remotely was in the top three benefits for nearly 40 percent of millennials. Flexible work schedules have become the new norm and millennial employees expect to have some sort of control over when and where they work.

3. Student Loan Forgiveness was an important employee benefit for over 40 percent of millennials. AICPA found nearly two-thirds of young adult job seekers have student loan debt, with an average debt of $33,332.

2. Paid Time Off was a benefits priority for 45 percent of millennials. General Mills recently overhauled their paid leave policy by tripling the length of paid maternity and paternity leave, introducing paid caregiver leave, and boosting bereavement and short-term disability benefits. Sharon DeTaeye, senior manager of human resources specialist operations at General Mills, says, “It’s an ongoing process, but we’re encouraged by the results we have seen so far.”

1. Health Insurance was the benefit millennials felt would most help them achieve their financial goals. Research by the West Health Institute/NORC at the University of Chicago found more than 40 percent of Americans didn’t see a physician when they were sick or injured because of high healthcare costs. Comprehensive healthcare plans that reduce out of pocket costs for employees will be highly attractive to millennial employees.

Millennials Split $100 Towards Employee Benefits

Millennials with student loan debt were asked to split $100 between paying a portion of their student loan debt versus a specific benefit and in all cases they preferred their employer put more money towards paying their student loan debt. Job seekers allocated $60-$80 towards student loan debt and the remaining $20-$40 towards a specific benefit like health insurance, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, life insurance, 401(k) retirement fund match and daycare.

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