What are financial wellness benefits?
Money, money, money. Some say it makes the world go round. Others say mo’ money mo’ problems. One thing’s for sure: money is just part of life. And sometimes we all need a little help managing it. That’s where financial wellness benefits come in.
There are a wide range of services and platforms available to address employees’ financial priorities, both short- and long-term. From retirement planning to budget coaching, there's a financial wellness program for every step of your employees' financial journey.
This is still an emerging category of benefits, and innovative new products and services are introduced every day. Here are some common services:
- Financial coaching or counseling
- Financial education
- Financial planning
How do employees use financial wellness benefits?
Financial wellness benefits are not one-size-fits-all. That’s because everyone starts from a different place in the great “money journey” of life. Luckily, a good financial wellness plan can meet folks where they are.
Say you have an entry-level employee who’s fresh out of college. For the first time, they’re coming face-to-face with adulthood — and realizing just how expensive it can be. (Read: They now understand why mom used to say, “We’re not stopping at the drive-thru; we have food at home.”) If they want to afford rent, pay down their student loans, and still have some cash on hand for the weekend, they’ll need to learn the art of budgeting. Enter financial education services.
Just down the hall, another employee is about to become a first-time homeowner. Once the housewarming parties are over, they’ll need to navigate everything that comes with homeownership (hello, mortgage payments and property taxes). Financial coaching platforms are at the ready.
And in the corner suite, your senior leaders may be getting serious about saving for retirement. Before they can reach that exciting life milestone (yay never-ending vacay! No more perpetual quest for inbox-zero! No more meetings that could have been an email!), they’ll have a lot of questions. Financial planners are here to help.
How do financial wellness benefits impact employees?
So if your money is the bike, and your financial goals are the finish line, then financial wellness services are the training wheels. They’re there to teach, keep you upright, and propel you through life’s twists and turns.
A healthy financial foundation protects against unforeseen events. Keeping with the bike metaphor, it’s your helmet and kneepads. They might not be the most fashionable choice, but you’ll definitely wish you had them when you start wobbling. You know, just in case.
What does financial resilience unlock? Well, for one, it can have a major impact on physical and mental wellbeing. Most Americans agree that money can be a major contributor to stress or anxiety. Many have also intentionally put off care because they simply couldn’t afford the co-pays, not to mention the risk of a surprise bill.
When you have a strong financial foundation in place, you’re one big step closer to building the life you want — and these benefits can still help along the way. Looking to develop an investment portfolio? Want to start saving for a big vacay? Ready to squirrel some cash away for your kid’s college fund? Financial wellness services will meet you there.
Why should employers offer financial wellness benefits?
Not only can financial management tools help your employees build that financial resilience, but they can also unlock significant returns for employers, ranging from morale, to productivity, to the bottom line.
In fact, a study by the financial wellness platform Enrich showed that when done right, financial wellness benefits can deliver up to a 1500% return on investment. On the flip side, poor financial wellness can cost an 1000-employee company $240,032 in lost productivity each year. You don’t need to be a financial expert to see those dollar signs.
Plus, employees who have access to these benefits are more likely to be in their jobs for the long haul. Employers who offered a financial wellness program from 2018-2020 saw an 18.8% increase in retention among salaried and hourly employees.
You might even already have these benefits waiting to be unlocked. Your existing benefits partners may also offer financial support services, Kelley Elliott, VP of Global Rewards at Delta and Nava Advisor, told us. "Most 401(K) providers today offer a suite of financial wellness and financial health solutions."