Why financial wellness is a must-have employee benefit. The demand for financial wellness programs has never been higher and employers are ready to help.
Employers are getting serious about financial wellness.
Financial wellness programs have emerged as a key employee benefit in the last few years and COVID-19 has only strengthened demand for resources that can help employees deal with their finances.
More than 60 percent of employers now feel “extremely” responsible for their employees’ financial wellness, compared to just 13 percent in 2013, according to the latest Workplace Benefits Report from Bank of America. Employers are most interested in programs that help employees save for retirement (81 percent), plan for healthcare costs (71 percent), budget (63 percent), save for college (55 percent) and manage debt (54 percent). Over 80 percent of employers agree that financial wellness programs and tools help to create more productive, loyal, satisfied and engaged employees.
Heightened interest in financial wellness programs couldn’t come at a better time as 59 percent of employees say they don’t have control over their debt and 62 percent say they don’t have enough emergency savings to last them six months.
Why Financial Wellness Is a Must-Have Employee Benefit
The issue of financial wellness is multifaceted. While most employees experience some form of financial stress, each situation is unique.
When it comes to debt, for instance, 82 percent of employees are in it, but the type of debt they have varies. According to the Bank of America Survey, half of employees have credit card debt, 46 percent have a mortgage loan and 21 percent have student loan debt. Regardless of the type of debt, 36 percent say it affects their ability to achieve their financial goals.
It’s mentioned earlier in this post that 62 percent of employees don’t have enough emergency savings to last six months, but that’s not the full story. Nearly half of employees say their emergency savings won’t last more than three months and 24 percent admit it won’t last them even one month, according to research by FlexJobs and Prudential.
As far as retirement, 71 percent of employees expect the pandemic to impact their plans, according to research by TD Ameritrade. Almost 40 percent have delayed or are considering delaying their retirement, 36 percent have decreased or are considering decreasing their retirement savings and 29 percent have withdrawn or are considering withdrawing funds from their 401(k) account. On the flip side, 47 percent of employees have increased or are considering increasing their retirement savings contributions, 29 percent of employees have opened or are considering opening a new investment account and 27 percent have converted or are considering converting their IRA to a Roth IRA.
Employees may have different financial stressors and goals, but 84 percent of them are in agreement that COVID-19 will have an impact on their ability to achieve long-term financial security and 59 percent of them say that impact will be moderate or severe.
What Employees Want From Financial Wellness Programs
Bank of America asked employees which financial resource would be most important to them if their employer were to offer it and found:
- 41 percent of employees want financial advice from a professional
- 30 percent want information on retirement plans
- 28 percent want the availability of financial products/services that help employees
- 27 percent want online financial tools or calculators
- 26 percent want resources on developing financial skills and good financial habits
They also noted that employees reacted positively to other forms of help, including tips for preparing for a financial shock, receiving a report card that can help them measure their financial health and even support to help them plan and take action.
How Best Money Moves Can Help
Best Money Moves has it all. It has the tools and features that help employees measure their financial stress, budget for monthly expenses, pay down debt and plan for emergencies. Our team of Money Coaches, trained professional financial counselors, are ready to give employees financial guidance whenever they need it. Employees can educate themselves about everything from investing in the stock market to co-signing loans to buying their first homes with access to a library of over 700 articles, videos and calculators. We leverage user analytics to create individualized employee content and Best Money Moves is gamified to encourage consistent engagement.
Employee information is always private but employers do have access to key analytics that show overall employee financial stress and stress levels over time. The Employer Dashboard also features information on program usage, debt and savings levels and more so employers can see just how valuable Best Money Moves is to their employees.
If you want to learn more about how Best Money Moves can bring financial wellness to your company download our whitepapers and sign up for a demonstration here.