In MSEC’s most recent Health and Welfare survey, 98 percent of employers reported offering some type of retirement plan, while 64 percent offer a 401(k). While employers have traditionally helped employees understand the reasons for maximizing their retirement benefits, comprehensive financial education programs are rare. But just as a traditional wellness program can lower your organization’s health insurance costs, a financial-wellness program can also help your bottom line.
There are various types of financial education programs employers can consider. Free programs offered by insurance agents, banks, and other financial professionals may be available with institutions employers already do business with. Community colleges and nonprofits often provide financial education programs, as do employee assistance programs and vendor programs from financial advisor groups. If you are considering offering a financial wellness program, gauge interest by asking employees anonymously about their key financial concerns. These may be long-term budgeting for major expenses, like home ownership or children’s education, or how the newly married should combine their incomes. Managing debt and saving for retirement are also very popular.
Once content and provider have been established, consider the best communication method for employees. Would lunch sessions be best, or should you schedule the meetings for after work when spouses could participate? Should you plan individual meetings where employees can get their personal issues addressed, all employee meetings, or meetings targeted to a particular demographic’s needs? Employers may find that employees become as engaged in their financial wellness as they are in physical wellness.