Financial wellbeing continues to be an important outcome for employers and their people. For companies that are investing in the financial wellbeing of their employees, the 2017 Financial Mindset® Study shows some positive impacts.
Unfortunately, only 37% of employees say their company provides financial wellbeing programs that extend beyond retirement programs. Equally disappointing is that 27% do not know whether their employer provides those programs.
Financial wellbeing programs are relatively new and the programs employers have added are likely just a few years old, so workers are still learning and digesting what’s available to them. We know from Alight’s 2017 Hot Topics in Retirement study that nearly 60% of employers are very likely to create or focus on programs that extend beyond retirement decisions (up from 30% in 2014). A communication strategy is equally important in order to raise awareness, and awareness is a precursor to participation and appreciation—not to mention outcomes.
In fact, our data found that when an employer offers financial wellbeing programs, 42% of workers consider themselves financially savvy. On the flipside, just 25% of workers who don’t know if their employer offers programs consider themselves financially savvy.
We also found that employees consider their financial wellbeing a weak point in their lives, so it’s not surprising that they seek help from their employers, especially in the areas of retirement, disability and life insurance.
Though employees are less likely to seek help in shorter-term areas such as budgeting, establishing an emergency fund or managing debt, it is exactly these areas that provide the foundation for their long-term savings. Of course, even though fewer employees see these shorter-term topics as the employer’s responsibility, many cite access to advice and tools from the employer as desirable.
The challenge is finding the balance. Employers can add value to financial wellbeing programs by helping employees navigate their immediate, short-term and longer-term needs, set priorities, and—perhaps more importantly—adapt to changing circumstances.
Get the detailed responses collected in this study by downloading the complete 2017 Financial Mindset Study.