What is a Financial Wellness Program?
Workplace wellness programs first rose to prominence in the late 1980s. The original design of the programs addressed physical and mental well-being for employees through lifestyle and disease management. According to IBIS World, a leader in industry market research, the wellness industry generates nearly $6 billion in revenue. While physical and mental health are important for employees, an emerging topic the last several years is financial wellness. These programs include retirement planning, debt management, budgeting, and investing to name a few. A recent CNBC article reported 55% of companies offer one of these financial wellness programs to employees. In 2017, this number is expected to increase to 77% with 52% offering at least 3 of these programs.
What are the benefits of a Financial Wellness Program?
Financial stress could be more harmful than poor lifestyles and chronic diseases when it comes to workplace productivity and health. GoBankingRates.com found 70% of employees have less than $1,000 in savings and 34% have no money saved.
PwC conducted a financial wellness survey in April of 2016. 50% of workers said they were stressed about their finances, and 45% said their worries worsened over the last 12 months. The top 3 concerns for employees were: 1) not having enough emergency savings (55%), 2) Not being able to retire on time (37%), and 3) Not meeting monthly expenses (25%). 17% of employees said a financial problem affected work productivity, and 8% said it caused them to miss work.
Small improvements in a workforce’s financial wellness can add immediate and substantial improvements to a company’s bottom-line.
During your next benefits strategy meeting, ask about the opportunities for implementing a financial wellness program into the current benefits strategic plan. The market is becoming more competitive for financial wellness programs, and consulting an experienced and innovative employee benefits broker is critical.