By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
Nearly 60 percent of employers offer a financial wellness program, or plan to in 2018 and beyond, according to recent research from Strategic Benefit Services (SBS). The study, Assessing the Merits and Challenges of Financial Wellness, found that the remainder of survey respondents do not offer a financial wellness program and do not plan to offer one in the future
Asked why they do not offer a financial wellness program, half the respondents without a financial wellness program said that they have not really thought about it, while just as many suggested they needed more resources to execute a program or needed to focus on other organization priorities (22.2 percent, respectively). Additional responses included no perceived financial benefit to the organization and a desire not to get involved in an employee’s personal life (16.7 percent, respectively).
The survey did find evidence of program satisfaction. Just over 77 percent of organizations offering a financial wellness program have decided to continue it. Only a handful of respondents said they decided to discontinue their program, mostly because it required significant organization resources.
When assessing the adverse impact of personal financial concerns on employee behavior in their organization, several impressions emerged. SBS survey respondents perceived that about 46 percent of their workforce was stressed and about 41 percent thought they were distracted. In addition, about 24 percent noticed a connection to physical health and about 22 percent of employees took time off from work to address these personal issues.
Asked to rank their employees’ top financial concerns, employers indicated that managing monthly expenses was most important, followed by paying down loans or debt. Other areas included saving for retirement, emergency expenses, and education.
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