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Employers Ready to Ramp up Financial Wellness Tools

NTSA Staff

Editor’s Note: Opportunities to help employers with financial wellness programs are growing at a very rapid pace according to a report from Aon Hewitt, following a survey of employers representing nearly 9 million workers. Currently, the report tells us that 58% of employers have “a tool available that covers at least one aspect of financial well-being,” but “by the end of the year that percentage is expected to reach 84%.” Financial advisors should be working with the financial institutions with which they work to develop or enhance financial wellness seminars and other programs to help employees understand specific actions they can take to impact their retirement savings.

A new survey finds evidence that interest in financial wellness is growing, and that plan sponsors are looking to beef up the tools to support that focus.

The Aon Hewitt survey of some 250 U.S. employers found that most (60%) feel that the importance of financial wellness has increased over the past two years. The survey finds that this year, nearly all (92%) of the responding employers say they are likely to focus on the financial well-being of workers in a way that extends beyond retirement (such as help with managing student loan debt, day-to-day budgeting and even physical and emotional well-being).

At present, just over half (58%) of the employers polled (which collectively represent about 9 million workers) say they have a tool available that covers at least one aspect of financial well-being. By the end of the year, however, that percentage is expected to reach 84%, according to Aon Hewitt.

Despite strong participation in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, few employers (15%) are satisfied with their workers’ current savings rates, according to the report.

Nearly all employers (90%) are concerned with their workers’ level of understanding about how much they need to save to achieve an adequate retirement savings — and nearly as many (87%) of those that are not satisfied say they are likely to take action this year to help workers make plans to reach their retirement goals.