Rising health costs hurting retirement contributions
Stressed out over finances, more employees are looking for guidance from their employers.
RISING HEALTHCARE costs have had a dramatic impact on the ability of workers to save for retirement and other financial goals.
The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report finds that of the workers who have experienced rising healthcare costs, more than half say they are contributing less to their financial goals as a result, including more than six in 10 who say they are saving less for retirement.
Financial stress also is playing a big role in employee physical health, with nearly six in 10 employees saying it has had a negative impact on their physical well-being. This stress weighs most heavily on millennials at 68%, compared with baby boomers at 51%, according to the research.
Because of these dire statistics, more employees are looking to their employer to help them with financial challenges.
“We spend a lot of our waking time working, and a lot of our finances are made up of the compensation and benefits our employer provides,” says Sylvie Feast, director of financial guidance services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “[Employer’s] healthcare and 401(k) plans are really valued by employees. I don’t think it’s surprising that they are looking to their employer to help provide access to ways to better manage their finances.”
And because employers offer healthcare and retirement benefits, it isn’t a stretch for workers to expect their employers to offer financial wellness as a benefit, Feast says. “There’s no silver bullet, but a continuing evolution of trying new things to see what works and has an impact with the workforce,” she says, adding that online tools, educational content, professional seminars in the workplace and personal consultations can be especially effective.