Financial wellness ‘must have’ benefit
More employers are developing programs to help employees plan for retirement.
FINANCIAL WELLNESS PROGRAMS ARE cementing their place in workplace benefit plans, but challenges remain for employers in defining what financial well-being means.
While financial wellness programs have not reached the level of penetration seen with other long-standing benefit offerings, 52% of employers said they have implemented, or are considering implementing, a wellness program, according to a new survey from Charles Schwab.
Further, 44% believe that a financial wellness program is becoming a “must-have” benefit for them to be competitive, the report says.
“Financial wellness is very personal for each employee, and employers need to be mindful of that when implementing a new program,” says Nate Bidner, managing director of Schwab Workplace Financial Solutions.
Generally, employers are defining financial wellness for employees as better financial outcomes and a reduction in financial stress as a result of employees taking ownership of their financial well-being, Charles Schwab says.
According to the survey, most employers believe a high-quality wellness program should:
• Offer broad guidance on personal financial management principles, including goals-based planning, savings fundamentals, debt management and asset allocation.
Provide an online content portal for access to education and assessment tools.
Fully integrate the program with existing benefits and compensation packages.
Demonstrate a measurable impact on retirement plan usage and retirement readiness.
“While general education and tools are useful for a broad cross-section of employees, the real task is to get them engaged and motivated to utilize the resources available,” Bidner says, noting that 70% of workers want personalized 401(k) advice. • • •