Small-Business Employees Could Use Financial Help

A MetLife study found only 16% of Baby Boomers employed by small businesses said that they are on track to achieve or have already achieved a financially secure retirement.

MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends found nearly two-thirds (62%) of Baby Boomers working for small businesses are very concerned about outliving their savings, and 59% are very concerned about having to work either full- or part-time in retirement. Only 29% of Boomers feel very confident in managing their money in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, and yet these plans are more common at small businesses than traditional pension plans. For example, 19% of small business employers say they offer a defined benefit pension plan, but 61% offer a 401(k) plan.   

In addition, the study found that while the majority (77%) of small business employers do not plan to offer financial/retirement planning seminars within the next 18 months, 75% of employees who admitted their productivity was impacted by personal monetary issues would be interested in learning how to address issues that cause financial stress.

Benefits Tied to Loyalty  

Approximately 50% of surveyed small business employees who are not very satisfied with their benefits hope to be working for a different employer, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends study. On the other hand, 72% of surveyed small business employees who are very satisfied with their benefits feel a very strong sense of loyalty to their employer.  

During the recession, many small businesses held the line on benefits. The study found that, overall, the percentage of small businesses offering certain benefits remained nearly the same in 2010 as in 2007: 

  • Medical – 95% in 2007, 93% in 2010
  • Prescription drugs – 87%, 87%
  • Dental – 69%, 68%
  • Life – 69%, 65%
  • Disability – 63%, 63% 
  • Vision – 54%, 55%

Overall, the study found a significant decline in employee loyalty. In November 2008, 62% of small business employees reported feeling a very strong sense of loyalty toward their employer, but in 2010 that number dropped to only 44%. One-third (34%) of small business employees surveyed would like to work for a different employer.  

The findings from the MetLife study are summarized in Small Business Benefits: Address Growing Flight Risk with Benefits-Based Strategies available at