Many employees are struggling with financial issues that affect their job performance, according to a recent report.
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found in a survey,
“Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2016,” that workers are
struggling with debt (66%), saving for retirement (60%), saving or
paying for children’s education (51%), covering basic living expenses
(48%) and paying for medical expenses (36%). Employers have also noted
that the “sandwich generation” is struggling with supporting elderly
parents and adult children.
Four out of five employers say their
employees’ personal financial issues are somewhat, very or extremely
impactful on their job performance. The top areas affected include an
increase in stress (76%), the inability to focus at work (60%), and
absenteeism and tardiness (34%).
“Nearly half of organizations
rate their workforce as only a little bit or not at all financially
savvy,” says Julie Stich, CEBS, director of research at the
International Foundation. “Employers are also reporting more financial
challenges among employees today than five years ago and are seeing
these challenges reflected in the day-to-day operations of their
To address the problem, nearly half of organizations
(49%) offer benefits literacy education. In addition, 45% provide
retirement security education, and 23% offer financial literacy
education. These programs cover topics including investments, savings,
insurance, budgeting, pre-retirement financial planning, retiree health
care and more. Two-thirds of organizations offering financial education
rate their programs as successful and teach financial principles through
free personal consultation services, classes and online resources.
percent of organizations are currently assessing their participants to
decide what topics are most needed, and 47% are considering it for the
future. Fourteen percent of employers report having a financial
education budget, and 22% are considering it.
“Workplace education programs are the most successful when an organization identifies the unique concerns of their workforce
and tailors the message to fit that audience,” Stich says. “Employers
should ask their participants what they want and consider what topics
would be the best fit.”
The full report is available at www.ifebp.org/FinancialEd2016.