Empowering Employees Through Financial Wellness

When you think of employee wellness, what comes to mind? It could be reduced medical claims, offering weight loss workshops, hosting massage days, or providing mental health counseling. What about retirement planning, or money management resources? Do you believe that the financial health of your employees can impact your company’s bottom line?

Wellness (wellbeing) is influenced by a variety of interacting factors that work together to positively or negatively impact health, beyond physical , mental & emotional wellness and financial wellness matters.

The financial wellness of your employees can impact your company’s bottom line, but how are the two related? Poor financial wellness can lead to increased employee stress. When individuals are struggling to pay their bills, whether medical bills, credit card debt, student loans or providing financial support for parents, fear, anxiety and depression can ensue.

With worrying about paying bills now, and stressing about how to save for retirement, stress in the workplace can result in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, increased risk of both physical and mental health issues (leading to increased healthcare costs) and even prolonged retirement.

According to PwC’s 8th annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey, PwC US, 2019, more than half (59%) of surveyed employees ages 18-75, reported that their financial situation was their leading cause of stress while other respondents admitted that their main sources of stress were jobs (15%), relationships (12%), health concerns (10%) and other matters (4%).

While there are many ways to define “financial wellness” and it looks different to everyone, we think the best way to put it is this: financial wellness is the sense of security and a feeling that one has enough money to meet their needs, that they are in control of their day-to-day finances and they have the financial freedom to make choices that allow them to enjoy life.  In that same PwC survey, regardless of generation (Millenial, Gen X & Baby Boomer), the top response when asked what financial wellness meant to them was “not being stressed about [my] finances”. Although financial wellness can be achieved through appropriate budgeting, saving, and “living within one’s means”, there are several factors that influence financial wellness that are often times unexpected, and so keeping up with financial responsibilities is extremely important. We believe that employers can help empower their employees by providing education and access to financial tools and resources.

Some key findings from the survey:

  • Nearly two-thirds of Millennials feel they are doing worse financially as compared to their parents.
  • 65% percent of employees are currently saving for retirement: 57% of Millennials, 70% of Gen X, and 77% of Baby Boomers.
  • Almost one-third of employees are not currently saving for retirement with reasons including having too many other expenses (78%) and debt to pay off (50%).
  • Only 38% of women have examined whether they’re on track to meet their retirement goals versus 52% of men.
  • More than one quarter (27%) of all employees have already withdrawn money held in retirement plans to pay for expenses other than retirement and nearly half (49%) think it’s likely they’ll need to use money held in retirement plans for expenses other than retirement.
  • 40% of all employees plan to retire later than they previously planned

Financial Wellness Resources:

About one-quarter of employees report that their employer offer third party assistance with personal finances and more than two-thirds (71%) say they’ve used those services (PwC’s 8th annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey, PwC US, 2019). Below are two financial education programs we thought might be of interest to you to educate and empower your employees to take control of their finances:

The Fiscal Femme: Through the new business to business offering, provide employees with financial resources they can navigate at their own pace. Starting with an annual kick-off workshop, every employee will receive a copy of Ashley Feinstein Gerstley’s book “ The 30 Day Money Cleanse”  and access to online video classes, excel tools and workbooks to help employees create a spending plan, tackle debt, learn about investing and what it means to participate in “financial adulting”.

Financial Gym: Through their strategic partnership program, the Financial Gym can provide on-site or webinar training and classes for your employees as well as offer discounted planning and services that cover topics from goal setting, debt repayment, retirement planning and investment education, to travel hacking, budgeting and saving.

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