Will the Millennial Generation Cause the End of Employer Sponsored Financial Participation?
How to Prevent such Extinction
David A Hildebrandt*
The threat is the attitude and habits of the Millennial Generation of workers, generally defined as those born after 1996, and which will constitute over one-half of the workforce in the next five to ten years. Recent polls by the Gallup organization, and the Pugh Research Center for example show that:
- Only 29% of Millennials are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their jobs.
- Millennial workers are mobile-On average 21% of Millennials changed jobs in the last 12 months.
- Retraining new Millennial workers costs the US Employers $30.5 billion annually.
- Millennials generally want to be in control of their savings, but do not have a financial plan for such savings.
- Increasing numbers of Millennials are independent contractors or self-employed, thus rejecting the typical historical employer/employee relationship.
- Millennials get their financial education on the internet not from group employer meetings or one on one meetings with financial experts.
- Millennials would rather work at a modest paying job for a socially conscious employer than at a high paying job for which they are qualified than in an industry or employer, which they do not perceive as socially conscious.
The conclusion to the above is that traditional employer sponsored financial participation programs no longer meet the needs of the Millennial worker, and that such plans are in danger of extinction in spite of the documented benefits of financial participation programs to workers, employers and the national and global economies.
Historically, the value of Employer sponsored financial participation programs is well established. Properly administered and communicated, employer sponsored financial participation programs have the following benefits:
- Workers are mores satisfied in their job;
- Workers, therefore become more productive.
- The enterprise for which they work becomes more profitable and competitive.
- The local, regional and national economies become more profitable and competitive.
- Wealth is accumulated by workers for future needs, thus lessening the social burden on the government.
However, to maximize the above benefits, employer sponsored financial participation programs must be supported by the following pillars:
- Employer support, administration and communication to workers.
- Recognition by labor organizations of the benefits of financial participation.
- National and Regional Government support through tax incentives.
- Employee and employer education on financial literacy matters.
The International Association for Financial Participation Iafp/aifp and its local members have been the voice of education and support for financial participation programs for more than twenty-five years.
Further research is needed to document what Millennial workers would find attractive in a financial participation program. IAFP is beginning a global study with other organizations to determine the elements of a successful Millennial Financial Participation Program in the new paradigm of a Millennial workforce with the attributes documented above.
Do you Agree or Disagree with this Edito? IAFP and the author of this editorial, David Hildebrandt would like to hear from you, especially if you are a Millennial or an employer of Millennials.
PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT DIALOGUE BY JOINING THE IAFP CHAT GROUP ON LINKEDIN iafp-aipf, OR BY DIRECT E-MAIL TO email@example.com.
David Hildebrandt is the current President of the International Association for Financial Participation (IAFP), based in Paris, France. Mr. Hildebrandt is a US based attorney and Certified Public Accountant, with more than 40 years of experience as a partner in major global law firms in representing employers, global governments, and organizations which support Financial Participation. For 30 years he was the General Counsel to the largest US association of employers which support financial participation plans, PSCA, and is a member of the American Bar Association College of Employee Benefits Counsel. References cited in this article are readily available on the internet.
11th ILERA European Regional Congress, Milan, 8-10 September 2016
Last year, the IAFP had the opportunity to launch a workshop on Financial Participation in the frame of the 17th ILERA World Congress (Cape Town, 7-11 September).
This year, we could organise a new workshop in the frame of the 11th ILERA European Regional Congress, which was held in Milan, 8-10 September, and which main subject was “The Future of Representation”. Besides Kevin O’Kelly and Jean-Michel Content, IAFP was represented by Andrew Pendleton (see his Presentation), Erik Poutsma and Ulke Veersma who took the floor as well.
On 20 November 2015 a first roundtable for multinational companies was organised in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This roundtable was an initiative of SNPI and organised together with the other national organisations AGP Germany, ifs Proshare UK and IAFP.
Up till now there was no such thing as an exclusive network, just for multinational companies. In the international field of employee share ownership there was a clear need for a network and meetings just for the multinational companies. Meetings where companies can share information and learn from each other.
This first roundtable was a big success and the participating companies and organisations agreed to continue organising roundtables in future and create a confidential network with information on each company and the different countries.
This network of multinational companies has two clear objectives:
1. To create an network of Multinational companies with broad based employee share plans
2. Exchange and share information on implementing employee share plans in other countries
Who can join? And what are the conditions for participating?
- Multinational companies with broad based employee share plans are able to join. But they can only participate on invitation by the organisation.
- The company should be a member of one of the national organisations SNPI, ifs proshare, AGP or of the IAFP platform.
- If a company joins they declare that they are willing to share information on their ESO-plans.
- Information received at the roundtable will be treated confidentially
- Consultants, advisors, lawyers and others with a possible commercial background are not able to join the network and not able to attend the roundtable.
- It is an exclusive network and on invitation only.
- If you are interested in joining, you can send a request to Pascale Nieuwland-Jansen of SNPI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The AIPF/IAFP organised a workshop on aspects of financial participation (EFP) as part of the programme for the 17th World Congress of ILERA (International Labour and Employment Relations Association) in Cape Town, South Africa, on 7 September, 2015.
This event resulted from an interest by a number of contacts in South Africa to set up a national employee share ownership association, with the assistance of the AIPF/IAFP. Secretary General, Jean-Michel Content, chaired the workshop. The presenters included
Ø Dr Ulke Veersma, Greenwich University, UK
Ø Prof Erik Poutsma, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, the Netherlands (see slides)
Ø Prof Andrew Pendleton, University of Durham, UK (see slides)
Ø Mr Tendani Nelwamondo, South African Industrial Development Corporation (see slides)
Ø Ms Lauren Rawlings, a business consultant based in Johannesburg.
Their presentations dealt with the current situation with financial participation in the EU and in South Africa and the challenges, barriers, opportunities and benefits of EFP. The discussion following the presentations looked at how the concept of financial participation, in particular employee share ownership, can be promoted and enhanced in South Africa. Kevin P O’Kelly, a member of the AIPF/IAFP Executive Committee, summed up the key points and related some of the challenges to the diffusion of EFP to experiences in the EU, such as:
Ø The need for research into what is already happening in South Africa
Ø Getting both employer and trade union organisations on-side and committed and building levels of trust in employment relations
Ø Engage the government in providing tax incentives
Ø Set out what role a national association would have in all of these issues.
Some months ago we have had a discussion around setting up an association or a centre to promote financial participation and, in particular, employee ownership plans in South Africa. The AIPF/IAFP is committed to supporting this new organisation and we thought one way to do this would be to hold a workshop during the Congress which theme was “The Changing World of Work: Implications for Labour and Employment Relations and Social Protection”. The Congress’s Organisers kindly agreed to host such a workshop which took place on the 7th afternoon. We enjoyed our workshop and we think it was a successful event and our exchanges gave us some ideas to follow up on to realise the goal of establishing a South African financial participation association.
Presentations were delivered by Erik Poutsma and Ulke Veersma, Andrew Pendleton, Tendani Nelwamondo (Industrial Development Corporation- fully owned by the South African Government) and Lauren Rawlings (Consultant in Johannesburg). The workshop was co-chaired by Kevin O’Kelly (convenor) and J-M Content.
Jean-Michal CONTENT (secrétaire général)
A week after the conference, the Australian House of Representatives passed, with cross-party support, new legislation to promote employee share ownership plans in SMEs.
For information on the conference programme go to
For further information on the award winners go to
Professor of Human Resource Management
Durham University Business School
University of Durham
Some twelve articles in favour of Financial Participation were agreed by the National Assembly when in a first instance, the Law for Growth and Activity, so-called “Loi Macron” (cf. the detail in Appendix), was discussed.
Since the 17th of March, the whole Law and the possible amendments proposed by the Senators will be discussed by the Senate Commissions. The Senate will then publically debate of the so amended text between the 7th of April until the 6th of May (following the present Diary).
Afterwards this text will be submitted to the National Assembly. If the mixt Parliamentary Commission composed of nine Deputies and nine Senators cannot find an agreement on a final text, the Government may decide to keep the first text as approved by the National Assembly in the frame of the application of the “Article 49-3” of the French Constitution which was used previously. In such a case the Law will be finally adopted without taking in consideration any of the amendments proposed by the Senate.
The next phase, mid-June, consists in a review of compliance of all the articles with the French Constitution by the Constitutional Council. Finally the Law could be officialised maybe mid-July.
Daniel GEE - Délégué Général de FONDACT
A NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION
FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION IS GOOD
The concept of employers sharing enterprise profits with workers is good. It is good for the employer. It is good for the worker. It is good for the local and national economy. Financial participation has proven to be good since the inception of the industrial revolution over two hundred years ago. In fact, it has been so good, that some countries, such as the United States of America have adopted financial participation programs as part of the accepted national retirement scene. In the US, a qualified, employer sponsored, financial participation program provides:
· An income tax deduction for the employer contribution,
· No income tax to the employee at the time of contribution,
· Tax subsidized employee contributions,
· Tax deferred accumulation of income, and
· Preferential income tax treatment on death or retirement distribution.
Even without government tax support, all types of financial distribution programs are good. This includes pure sharing of cash profits with employees; sharing employer stock with employees through an employer contribution; subsidized employee purchase of stock; matching employee contributions with an employer cash or stock contribution; and both current or deferred distribution of such financial participation. Combinations of the above types of financial participation are recognized by many countries as a socially desirable means of either wealth accumulation or retirement savings for workers.
Following are the top five reasons financial participation is good:
- Financial participation programs are good for the employer because they attract and retain quality workers. Costs are reduced because the need for finding and training new employees is less.
- Financial participation programs are good for the employer because workers are happier and more productive thus leading to greater profit for the enterprise.
- Financial participation programs are good for the employee because they assist in wealth accumulation for the employee.
- Financial participation programs are good for the local and national economy because they increase productivity of the employee and profits for the enterprise. They make employers more competitive in the local, national and world economies.
- Financial participation programs are good for the national economy because they make workers more self-sufficient through the wealth accumulation of plan participants.
There is likely no one type of financial participation program which is most efficient for both large and small and medium sized employees under every country’s tax laws. That is also the best attribute of a financial participation program. They are flexible and adaptable and can be custom designed for each size and type of employee in each local tax jurisdiction. Where the local tax laws provide incentives and subsidies for financial participation programs, the benefits of such programs for employers, workers and the local economy are magnified.
Financial participation is good.
The International Association for Financial Participation (www.aipf-association.fr) has extensive resources in support of financial participation, and a large network of associations, companies and academics which support financial participation. I urge you to visit the website to see the bountiful resources available. We also welcome your e-mail, telephone or written inquiry.
Respectfully with good wishes for the new year,
David Hildebrandt, IAFP President
Helping employee financial participation to boost economic growth
The 28th of November, the ESOP Centre organised a one-day conference entitled: “Shares into Ploughshares: Helping employee financial participation to boost economic growth”.
Delegates from seven EU nations, who gathered at Linklaters in London, heard a series of informative presentations on how employee share ownership could provide a range of potential solutions to the haemorrhage of jobs, future careers and hope from local communities in the bulk of member states.
Mr. Malcolm Hurlston CBE, who chaired the Conference, said that the Centre’s programme asked to what extent employee share ownership could preserve or even increase employment in companies, while at the same time preserving social values.
Among the issues discussed were the use of ESO in business succession; community shares in micro businesses; the track record of public sector mutual; whether union members at the Royal Mail would one day enjoy a collective voice in its affairs throughout share ownership and what ESO progress was being made in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
This Conference was the main (and final) event of a European Commission-backed Project managed, on behalf of the ProEFP network, by CISL, the major Italian trade-unions Confederation.
The IAFP which is a member of the ProEFP network and which was a Partner in this Project was represented by Kevin O’Kelly and Jean-Michel Content.
40th anniversary of ERISA legislation
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
Do not miss THE EVENT: Frankfurt October 23rd
Conference: Employee Financial Participation in Europe and in Germany
Jointly organised by AGP (Bundesverband Mitarbeiterbeteiligung) and IAFP (International Association for Financial Participation)
Interview with Dr. Heinrich Beyer, Managing Director of the German National Centre for Employee Financial Participation – AGP
The Awards Ceremony of the second European Social innovation Competition
International conference, York, April 2-3 2014
The two day Conference which took place in York on April 2-3, 2014 was organised by the White Rose Employee Ownership Centre, a common creation of the three Universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield.
IAFP was represented by Kevin O’Kelly and Jean-Michel Content, who made a presentation on “Policies and attitudes to financial participation in the EU”.