Employer and employee demand for financial health benefits is at an all-time high. Employers now feel more responsible for their employees’ financial wellness than ever before.
A decade ago, 41 percent of employers felt responsible for employee financial wellness. Today, that number has more than doubled to 97 percent, according to Bank of America.
Part of this historic spike is caused by the fact that employees need and increasingly expect help. Overall, 82 percent of employees now expect their employers to play a role in supporting their financial wellness.
Millennials and Gen Z workers, especially, expect employers to offer benefits and financial wellness support that previous generations couldn’t even imagine. They face financial challenges that their parents and grandparents did not. Millennial workers, twenty- to forty-somethings, are worse off financially than their parents’ generation for the first time in U.S history. At the same time, only one in ten or so Gen Z workers coming up behind them rate their financial wellness as high according to TIAA. Decades-high inflation and broader changes in our system of jobs and benefits have eroded the financial health of the U.S. workforce to the point where most U.S. workers have little shot at financial security. This reality is bad for businesses, organizations, and employees.
Financial stress hampers worker productivity and physical health, and adds to mental health challenges. It leads to higher rates of turnover. Employers increasingly understand these effects. This growing understanding leads to a growing demand for financial health benefits among employers. And it also contributes to the seismic shift afoot in feelings of responsibility among employers for their employees’ financial health.
Employers now know that most workers are stressed about money. It used to be that this stress largely fell on the shoulders of lower- and moderate-income workers. No longer. 63 percent of U.S. workers now live paycheck to paycheck including, nearly half of employees earning at least $100,000 per year.
Employers now know that most financially stressed employees are distracted by their finances at work and spend at least three hours per week on personal finance issues during work time.
And, increasingly, employers now know the connections among employee financial health, recruiting, retention, and productivity.
Given the seismic shift afoot, now is the time for you to maximize the benefits of a financially healthy workforce.