In this week’s Best Money Moves roundup, we take a look at news stories and new research studies that may impact employee benefits and HR issues. We hope you find this news roundup helpful, and we’d love your feedback.

You might think financial wellness is a fad. Today, employers are focusing on their employees’ financial stress, but will it last?

Given the amount of financial stress employees are feeling – even as the economy continues to improve – it’s clear that financial wellness programs are here to stay.

Over half (52 percent) of America’s hard-working employees have anxiety about dealing with their financial stress – and are completely lost when it comes to doing something about it. They want their employers to step forward and provide the financial education and financial planning tools they need, according to the 2017 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey.

Further, 77 percent of stressed employees say that their stress levels have increased over the past 12 months. This means that in order to have effective employees, employers need to take a hard look at their benefits plans and make serious steps towards providing comprehensive financial wellness benefits in 2018.

But providing reading material and investment advice doesn’t help employees reduce financial stress. Easily measuring their level of financial stress and offering personalized action plans based on deeply specific, personal insights is what your employees need, and what Best Money Moves does best.

Here are five predictions about this year’s employee financial wellness offerings:

2018 Predictions: 5 Trends in Financial Wellness Benefits

Employees with money angst are found to have higher absenteeism and lower engagement. Financial worries not only keep employees awake at night, they also can spill over into the workplace and create significant costs for the employer. Here’s the breakdown on helping your employees that are financially stressed in the workplace.  

How Improving Financial Health Boosts Productivity

Employers are taking notice, in droves. Employees who are stressed are more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, miss work due to their personal financial issues and cite health issues caused by financial stress. Most Americans are seriously anxious about their finances. The time to take action is now – here’s what you can do to help your employees build financial wellness.

Why Workplace Financial Wellness Programs Are Hot

Talent acquisition and retention are struggles that all employers face. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Lowe’s have begun offering their employees courses and skills training, while Walmart and State Street Corporation have started their own employer-provided adoption benefits. They’re expanding on their available perks in order attract and retain top talent. And it’s working. Here’s what you can do to compete in 2018’s tough hiring market.

Tax Reform, Tight Labor Market Bust Open the Lid on Benefits

The U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn’t legally require paid family leave. Ninety two percent of the U.S. has no legally required healthcare policies – important healthcare provision decisions are left to employers. Just 15 percent of American employees have access to paid family leave through their workplace, and roughly 60 percent can be fired for taking unpaid leave. Does your company offer Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits? If not, perhaps it should.

Millennials Struggling to Care for Aging Baby Boomer Parents Call for Better Paid Leave

Your company still doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan? Here’s why that might actually be a good thing for your employees. The Tax Cut & Jobs Act lowered marginal tax rates, but those rates revert to higher levels in 2026. No one knows if this will actually happen. Assuming that it does, tax rates may never be this low again. Putting retirement funds into tax-free savings plans now can turn into a significant boost to after-tax wealth later.

Why New Tax Rules Make Roth Accounts Better Than Ever

Conflicting information on Millennials has a lot of people confused. Recent research pegs Millennials as either responsible savers far outpacing their Baby Boomer and Gen X counterparts, or self-indulgent and immature, living only in the moment. This hyper-focus on spending and saving habits of the largest generation in history is causing a variety of opinions. So, which are accurate?

Millennials: Serious 401k Savers Or Struggling Spendthrifts?

Will this affect your business? A new legislation calls for a three-tiered state tax on short-term rentals, giving cities and towns the option of imposing additional excise taxes. The bill would impose 5.7 percent and 8 percent taxation for short-term rentals made through a professional property manager or investor host.

House Bill Would Tax, Regulate Airbnb, Other Rentals

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