Your company is likely among the majority that not only want to help employees with their non-retirement financial matters but also are offering tools to make it happen. That statement can be made with some degree of confidence, because according to the Aon Hewitt 2017 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing report, 59% of employers recently asked said they are very likely, with another 33% moderately likely, to focus on overall financial wellbeing among employees.
That’s a very strong showing of more than 90%. Helping employees take charge of their financial lives isn’t a new idea, of course. But it seems to be gaining more popularity each year; 60% of organizations say they believe financial wellness has increased in importance within their organizations in the last two years.
Even more startling, the percentage of employers who offer workers a tool to help them with at least one aspect of financial wellness is expected to reach 84% by the end of 2017 — up from 58% at the beginning of the year.
Popular Services, Tools, and Education
Most popular among current offerings are services, tools or educational campaigns that address the basics of financial markets/simple investing, offered by 43% of employers responding to the Aon Hewitt survey. Other popular items were health care education and planning (37%), financial planning (35%), and budgeting (34%).Among companies that don’t currently offer these services, tools or educational campaigns, many say they are very likely to do so in the future. Among the topics of interest:
- Basics of financial markets/simple investing, 42%
- Health care education and planning, 38%
- Financial planning, 37%
- Budgeting, 36%
Why They Invest in Financial Wellness
Primarily, employers responding to the survey said they believe creating or expanding their financial wellbeing program is the right thing to do, at 84%. Other reasons include increasing employee engagement (78%), and improving their retirement statistics (60%) like improved adequacy, decreased leakage and higher participation rates.
As the worker population ages, organizations will see more and more near-retirees. Of responding organizations, 75% expect an uptick in this group over the next three years, and they are ramping up their communications accordingly. Among the actions respondents have already taken to help employees successfully retire are:
- Providing retirement planning education to retirees, 19%
- Increasing the level of automation, service and/or web access, 15%
- Providing help with Medicare planning, 15%
- Providing help with Social Security planning, 15%
Many more employers said they are very likely to take these actions. Among those that have not already done so, 49% of organizations said they are very likely to provide retirement planning education to retirees; 37% said the same about increasing the level of automation, service and/or web access; and 50% said they are very likely to increase communication about the retirement process.
 2017 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing, Aon Hewitt.
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For plan sponsor use only, not for use with participants or the general public. This information is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.
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