Sherpa: New personal finance benefit launched

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Alto Solutions Group, a Virginia-based financial services company, wants to put financial wellness in the palms of employees’ hands. The company will launch its Sherpa personal finance platform in early September, which employers can offer as a voluntary benefit.

Personal finances have a major impact on employee productivity; 59% of employees said financial worries were their number one distraction at work, according to a recent survey by PwC — a global professional services network. Employers are taking notice; a 2018 Willis Towers Watson survey says 69% of employers plan to include voluntary benefits, like financial planning tools, in their offerings within the next five years. Alto Solutions executives said they saw an opportunity to provide the next must-have benefit.

“We are ready to help American workers keep outside stress away from the workplace and help employers to offer a benefit that can make a difference in the lives of their employees,” said Alex Iglesias, president of AltoSolutions Group, in a company statement last week. “We definitely understand the distracting and stressful nature of personal finances and we’re excited to offer Sherpa as a solution that can help alleviate those things in people’s daily lives.”

Under the Sherpa platform, employees will be able to monitor all of their financial activity in one place. That includes everything from checking and savings accounts, 401(k)’s, credit card debt, student loans and investments. When the Sherpa app launches in early September, it will include a feature that allows users to submit personal finance questions directly to a licensed financial adviser. Alto plans to contract with multiple advisers from independent agencies.

“It’ll be really helpful to people who just want a question answered without going in to see an accountant,” says Kristin Snow, the company’s head of marketing and sales.

Alto is offering Sherpa as a voluntary benefit for $5 a month per person, with bulk discounts available as part of an annual package. Access to financial advisers is a separate fee.

“Employers are in a great position to help transform their employees’ financial future,” Snow says. “We’re interested in working with companies that are innovative, forward thinking and care about the financial health of their employees.”

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