By: Nashalin Portrag, Head of FundsAtWork at Momentum Corporate
Applying a generational filter to employee benefits.
Given the ever-changing dynamic within the workforce, financial advisers need be able to offer their clients suitable employee benefits advice that’s adaptable to the needs of the evolving behaviours, trends and decision-making habits of the various generations that make up the current workforce.
This is according to Nashalin Portrag, Head of FundsAtWork at Momentum Corporate, who spoke at a FANews breakfast event in Johannesburg for financial advisers aimed at exploring workforce trends, sponsored by Momentum Corporate.
“According to research we conducted, millennials currently make up 52% of the workforce. Over time, this number will grow. Generation Z is also entering the South African work environment. When we look at employee benefits, we need to apply this generational filter to understand the different dynamics that exist within each generation,” said Portrag.
He noted that few South African employers have adapted to the millennial-dominated landscape, with many still offering the same benefits to employees today, as they did five years ago.
“Our research has shown that today’s employees’ life stages are unique and not as linear as before. As an industry, we need to immerse ourselves in these ever-evolving client journeys to understand how different generations view retirement, death and disability.”
Portrag believes that the most profound change among the current workforce is the dynamic of millennials, whose key attributes include that they want flexibility, ease of use, the use of technology and information at their fingertips. Conversely, the older generation wants to save more.
“Millennials are likely to change jobs every three years, compared to the Baby Boomers and older generation that are more likely to have one employer throughout their career. They are looking for a lot more portability, and want flexibility when it comes to retirement savings.”
“One of the financial adviser’s main objectives is to understand employees’ needs at each major life event that influences their journey to success,” adds Portrag.
He explained that industry players should follow suit to re-examine its retirement savings and insurance offerings, in order to see how these can be redesigned to meet the needs of a changing workforce.
Today’s workforce wants saving solutions that offer more than just retirement benefits – they want value-added solutions that will help them to reach their financial goals says Portrag.
Regarding a way forward, Portrag emphasised that financial services providers and financial advisers must partner to find a balance between the stability of solutions and remaining relevant to the needs of a workforce who is living in a substantially different way.
He warned that one size has never fitted all, and it is definitely not going to in future. He urged financial advisers to educate clients about the future, keep their interactions relevant, simplify the language and make it unique and personal.
“As a service provider, it’s important that we continue to gain insights that will empower financial advisers. Consequently, advisers should partner with a progressive group retirement and insurance provider that proactively uses research to stay ahead of market trends, in order to provide appropriate solutions for their clients ’needs,” Portrag concluded.