Planning for benefits that support employees wherever they are in life’s journey is key to offering a truly meaningful employee benefits package. But with four distinct generations making up the vast majority of today’s workforce, HR and benefits leaders face an increasingly complex challenge to bring value to all their employees at every life stage.
Benefits that change with employee needs over time and voluntary benefits offer some choice and ability to customize, which can help companies span the range of life stages to provide a level of protection and reward for all employees. However, too much customization and benefits administrators can lose control of the employee experience, and too many voluntary choices can be confusing and leave employees feeling unsupported.
You likely already know a bit about pet wellness plans and pet insurance, but you may not be aware that pet benefits are applicable to every generation in the labor force right now, or that pets are something 90 million U.S. households have in common.(1) That means HR leaders and companies have another important benefits solution at hand for all their working pet parents, one that supports employees across every generation and life stage.
Pet Parents In The Workplace
Pet parents today are fairly dispersed across generations with Millennials leading the pack at 32%. Baby Boomers make up the next largest cohort at 27%, followed by Gen X representing 24% of all U.S. pet parents. Although Gen Z (age 10-25) shows up with just 14%, this generation is already well known for its love of pets and by all indications is expected to further drive the trend toward humanization of their fur babies.(2)
For employers, it’s important to note that employees aged 25-64 make up 81% of the total American workforce.(3) So, no matter how many employees you have, odds are you can count a lot of pet parents among your team.
Pets And Employee Life Stage Planning
People from all walks of life love pets. Whether your people are new to the workforce and paying off educational debt, considering a home purchase for the first time, starting or expanding their family, caring for aging parents, or getting ready for retirement, pets are an essential part of the bigger financial picture at each life stage. And no matter what an employee may be experiencing in his or her life, for many, pets are right there beside them.
A critical factor here is that pet care costs are steadily rising, and 47% of pet parents report having had some kind of pet-related debt.(4) Also, just for basic care and routine visits alone the average dog owner now spends $1480 each year, while the average cat owner spends a bit over $900 annually.(5) So, as every life stage comes with its own set of challenges and economic pressures, pets must be considered part of the equation.
To put the importance of pets and the role they play into greater context, consider that 40% of U.S. households today include children under the age of 18,(6) while 70% include at least one pet.(7) The sheer scale and presence of pets in our lives means companies have an opportunity with pet benefits to protect more employees and their families and help build financial security.
Pet Wellness Plans Or Pet Insurance?
Pet wellness plans and pet insurance both offer valuable protections that safeguard employee income and peace of mind, and help keep pets healthy. Pet wellness provides reimbursement for everyday care expenses to maintain optimal health, and in emergency situations where it’s needed, pet insurance can help save thousands of dollars. It’s why Wagmo offers both, and it’s why we are committed to supporting pet parents and the important care they provide, whether it’s a planned visit or unexpected.
When it comes to choosing the right pet benefits for your people, however, we recommend the Wagmo Wellness plan over pet insurance for a truly rewarding employee benefit. Our wellness plan is something every working pet parent in every state can use right now for cash back on the proactive pet care they’re already spending money on (up to $650 per year), with the same preferred providers they’re already using. No waiting period or insurance-like restrictions or requirements. For your employees and their families, it's a valuable and easy to use benefit that provides welcomed support every step of the way.
1, 2, 5, 7: APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 2021-2022
3: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labor force share by age group 2020, website accessed 02/02/22; https://www.bls.gov/emp/graphics/2019/labor-force-share-by-age-group.htm
4: LendingTree Pet Survey 2020
6: U.S. Census Bureau website accessed 02/28/22; https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/estimates-families-living-arrangements.html