Working Americans spend more time on social media than selecting workplace benefits, Voya survey finds

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

New data shows nearly half of employed Americans spend 20 minutes or less reviewing important benefits information during open enrollment

A new consumer research and insights survey from Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), a leading health, wealth and investment company, has found that nearly seven in 10 (67%) of employed Americans who are benefits-eligible spend just 30 minutes or less reviewing the information related to their workplace benefits during their employer’s open enrollment period — while nearly half (42%) of employees spend 20 minutes or less reviewing such information.

Voya’s research comes at a time when industry data shows the average American spends roughly two hours and seven minutes daily on social media content platforms,1 leveraged primarily to stay in touch with friends and family, fill spare time, and read the news.

“While social media has many advantages for staying connected to family, friends and other interests, it’s important to remember that one’s workplace benefits also deserve their fair share of attention,” said Nate Black, vice president, Health Product Development at Voya Financial. “And with just a ‘once-a-year’ opportunity to evaluate what you’re spending and using on benefits, it’s even more important to give open enrollment the time and attention it deserves. Beyond the traditional medical and dental plan, workplace benefits include other meaningful offerings that employers are providing to help their employees address everything from things like the out-of-pocket costs that come with a hospital stay, a disability that impacts your ability to work and, increasingly, mental health needs — all of which can provide critical support for the health and financial livelihood of an individual and their family.”

Education is key, especially for Gen Z

Among the many findings within Voya’s research, one particular concern is found within Generation Z, whose members have recently entered the workforce and presumably have minimal historical knowledge of their workplace benefits opportunities. According to Voya’s research, Gen Z reported even lower engagement in reviewing their benefits information compared to other generations. A majority (79%) of Gen Z benefits-eligible employees spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their workplace benefit information during open enrollment, a notably higher number compared to their working peer groups of millennials (68%), Gen X (65%) and baby boomers (63%).

“Based on what might be included in their benefits package, employees may have to make decisions on a variety of insurance and benefit solutions during their annual enrollment. This can understandably make for an overwhelming experience, particularly for those less familiar with the enrollment experience, or those who have not yet had to review all of their options,” added Black. “While providing a comprehensive benefits package is one of the most important things you can do as an employer, ensuring your employees understand and take advantage of those benefits is equally as important. As we approach the open enrollment period this fall, this data serves as an important reminder and opportunity for employers to provide the education their workforce needs to not only become well-educated about their benefits, but also to help them make more informed decisions.”

Benefits selection support also remains critical

While Voya’s research showed employed Americans spend little time reviewing their benefits information, the survey also revealed that more than one-quarter (27%) of employees are waiting to select their health and wellness options within one week of their enrollment deadline. This demonstrates that employees do not spend much time reviewing or selecting their health and wellness options during the open enrollment period. Voya’s research also found that more than half (52%) of employees select their benefits more than two weeks out from their enrollment deadline. Interestingly, this number is highest among Gen Z (60%), compared to millennials (49%), Gen X (53%) and baby boomers (56%). This indicates that while Gen Zers might spend little time reviewing their benefits information, overall interest in participation is high and greater than their peers. As a result, employers have an opportunity to provide the guidance and resources to help all members of their workforce — particularly those who may want and need it most — make informed decisions.

“Employers need to also consider having the right tools in place to ensure employees know how to make their enrollment selections, especially when it comes to maximizing every dollar from their paycheck” added Black. “Innovative technology and decision-support tools that can help employees understand their holistic savings picture can provide the support many employees need when it comes to acting with confidence in how they allocate their next dollar.”

Voya remains focused on enhancing the enrollment experience by providing holistic, personalized decision-support resources that help address both the health and wealth needs of individuals and aspire to help improve outcomes. As an industry leader focused on the delivery of benefits, savings and investment solutions to and through the workplace, Voya is committed to delivering on its mission to make a secure financial future possible for all — one person, one family, one institution at a time.

All data unless noted otherwise is b ased on the results of a Voya Financial Consumer Insights & Research survey conducted with Morning Consult conducted Sept. 22-23, 2023, among 710 adults who work full-time or part-time and are benefits-eligible, aged 18+ in the U.S.

1. “Top Social Media Statistics And Trends Of 2023,” (Forbes), May 18, 2023.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company with approximately 9,000 employees who are focused on achieving Voya’s aspirational vision: Clearing your path to financial confidence and a more fulfilling life. Through products, solutions and technologies, Voya helps its 14.7 million individual, workplace and institutional clients become well planned, well invested and well protected. Benefitfocus, a Voya company, extends the reach of Voya’s workplace benefits and savings offerings by providing benefits administration capabilities to 16.5 million individual subscription employees across employer and health plan clients. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and committed to conducting business in a way that is economically, ethically, socially and environmentally responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Morning Consult is a separate entity and not a corporate affiliate of Voya Financial.


Media Contact:
Laura Maulucci
Voya Financial
(508) 353-6913

Source: Voya Financial, Inc.