Financial stress is taking a toll on employees. As a new year starts, many workers are evaluating how to best secure their financial future – providing an opportunity for employers to step up to the plate.
A number of large employers are already planning to do so, according to Aon Hewitt’s annual Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being survey, with many planning to expand the depth and breadth of their current financial well-being programs in the year ahead.
A new Gallup study shows roughly half of the American population today believes they do not have enough money on hand for major expenses such as home repairs or the purchase of a new car. And numerous reports have been published noting a cloudy retirement forecast for many who aren’t saving enough in their 401(k) accounts.
Also see: “8 benefit trends to watch for in 2016.”
“Workers have a wide variety of financial needs and challenges,” says Rob Austin, director of retirement research at Aon Hewitt. “Employers are realizing that they need to provide a range of financial well-being tools and resources to help this diverse workforce and to truly make an impact on workers’ long and short-term savings goals.”
Currently a little more than half (55%) of employers surveyed admit to having at least one program in place to help employees improve their financial wellness – such as budgeting, debt management or assistance on the financial aspects of healthcare. In addition, 38% say they offer at least three programs.
The good news, the Aon study shows, is that those numbers are expected to go up. Seventy-seven percent of employers say they will have at least one financial well-being program by the end of 2016 and 52% say they will have at least three.
”Workers say they want their employer to provide them with the resources to help them obtain a more secure financial future, and it seems that employers are stepping up to this request,” says Austin. “In 2016, financial well-being programs will cement themselves as part of most employers’ total benefits package.”
Further, Aon’s study notes a majority of employers (85%) say they are creating and adding these well-being programs because it is “the right thing to do.” Another 80% of employers report that their programs are designed to also improve employee engagement.
Saving more, spending less and paying off debt were cited by Americans as their top three financial resolutions in 2016, according to Fidelity Investments’ seventh annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study.
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