Group benefits strategy: Why financially “fit” employees are a better fit for your business

group-benefits

Almost half of your employees are stressed out about money issues, and it’s affecting their work.

That’s one of the findings of an August 2013 white paper by Purchasing Power called “Financial Wellness: Addressing the 9 to 5 Impact of 24/7 Financial Stress.” That means nearly half of your workforce is distracted from their daily responsibilities, worrying about the next house payment or retirement. And 29 percent of employees say they deal with their personal financial issues while at work, sometimes two to three hours a week or more.

Those financial stresses can run the gamut. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) Employee Financial Wellness Survey 2014, some of the top financial concerns of workers include:

  • Lack of savings. Four in ten Americans still live paycheck to paycheck, and half of those surveyed are worried about not having enough savings for emergency expenses.
  • Planning for retirement. 42 percent of employees are worried they won’t have enough money to retire when they want to.
  • Family responsibilities. 14 percent of employees provide financial support for parents or in-laws, 40 percent have dependent children, and 55 percent are paying dependent care expenses.
  • Fear of identity theft. 15 percent of employees claim they have been a victim of identity theft, and according to the 2014 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy and Research, identity fraud claims a new victim every two seconds.

Unfortunately, these stresses can be measured in increased absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher healthcare costs. That’s why employers are increasingly incorporating financial wellness as part of their overall wellness and benefits strategy. Fortunately, you can address this issue with a purposeful benefits strategy.

Workplace wellness: it’s not just about health care anymore.

You already know how voluntary benefits can help drive your business goals, and a comprehensive financial wellness benefit can be the icing on the cake. According to Towers Watson’s 2012-2013 Global Workforce Study, when companies support their employees’ health and financial fitness, they enjoy higher productivity, lower turnover, a more competitive edge, and a better shot at attracting and retaining talent.

How a proactive benefits strategy can help.

According to Workforce.com, most employees welcome their employer’s involvement in helping them improve their financial fitness, and they’re increasingly seeking guidance about their financial future. You can answer the call by offering group benefits – either employer paid or voluntary – and/or education on how to manage finances. Just think of the possibilities:

  • Low-interest loans
  • Student loan contribution
  • Savings and budget plans or education
  • College savings plans
  • Retirement plans – 401(k), IRA, etc.
  • Health savings accounts
  • Wills and trusts
  • Life Insurance
  • ID theft protection
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance

Include everyone in your benefits strategy.

If you have a multi-generational workforce, keep in mind that different generations have different priorities. For the Gen X and Gen Y generations, job security is most important to achieving future financial goals. But for Baby Boomers, a rising stock market and lower healthcare costs are more important. And Millennials change jobs more frequently than previous generations and are notoriously bad at saving money. Offering financial wellness options and education appeals to all of these age groups.

Financial wellness programs as part of your group benefits can have a huge impact on helping your employees improve their short-term and long-term financial health – and that can only add to the health of your business.

Ready to learn more? Let the experts at BeaconPath show you how to put your employees on the road to physical and financial fitness. Contact us today. And for more insightful benefits strategy tips, subscribe to our blog in the top right corner of this page.

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