An overwhelming majority of employees say financial wellness should be a part of their employer’s overall wellness program, but most employees say they are not getting financially fit at the workplace.
An online national survey of 511 employees conducted by Four Seasons Financial Education in St. Louis, Mo., showed that 45% of employees said their company offers an overall wellness program, but 70% said financial wellness is not included in that program and 30% said financial wellness is part of their employer’s overall wellness program.
When asked whether they felt financial wellness should be part of an overall wellness program, 78% said yes, while 21% said no.
Employees may want a financial wellness program because many are stressed out about their finances, according to the Four Seasons survey.
On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest level of stress and 10 being the highest level of stress, more than 31% of employees surveyed said their level of financial stress was a 10, while an additional 8% rated their financial stress level as a 7. Nearly 20% of employees rated their financial stress at 5 or moderate, while 25% rated their stress level a 1.
A little education or guidance from a professional may help employees deal better with their financial stress as the survey showed 30% of employees said their most important financial goal was to learn how to budget and deal with debt. And an additional 19% said their most important financial goal was to get a financial plan.
Nearly 40% of employees said planning for retirement was their most important financial goal. Thirty percent said they found their retirement plan at work difficult to understand, while 61% said the education they receive from their employer’s 401(k) provider was adequate to extremely helpful. More than 17% said their 401(k) education was not helpful and 20% said they received no education about their 401(k), according to the Four Seasons survey.
Seventy-seven percent of employees admitted they never, rarely or sometimes read articles or web-based information provided by their employer’s 401(k) provider. Only 21% said they often or very often read the 401(k) articles.
When asked what their employer could provide them with to help them with their retirement goals, 37% of employees said a customized retirement plan, while 36% said access to one-on-one professional guidance and 28% said live or web-based retirement education. Twenty-two percent of employees said they would like to include their spouse in retirement education.
More than 70% of employees said they would welcome the personalized and confidential guidance from an independent financial planner if their company paid for it, while only 26% said they would not want to talk to an independent financial planner.
Twenty-eight percent of employees said they would likely be willing to share some of the cost in a workplace financial wellness program if it could help them toward their goals. Another 43% said sharing some of the cost would be a possibility and 33% said they would unlikely be willing to share some of the costs, according to the Four Seasons survey.