Employers Increasing Financial Wellness Programs

However, they are looking to keep group benefits costs down.

Companies are responding to employees’ financial concerns by expanding their financial wellness programs, according to a Prudential Group Insurance employee benefits survey.

Employees say they are better off financially than they were five years ago—but they are worried about making ends meet, whether their jobs are secure, whether they have the appropriate health insurance, and whether they will be able to save for adequately retirement and make those savings last.

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In response, employers are trying to expand their financial wellness programs and educate their workers about how their benefits programs can help secure their financial well-being, says Andy Sullivan, president of Prudential Group Insurance. “That’s a tall order,” he says, “as employers seek to control benefits costs, while providing competitive benefits packages that will attract and retain the best talent.”

In line with controlling costs, many employers are widening their voluntary benefits and increasing employee-paid benefits. In fact, 61% of employers have adopted consumer-directed, high deductible health plans paired with health savings accounts or other personal savings vehicles. Some employers that have expanded their financial wellness programs are shifting a portion of the cost of those programs onto employees, Prudential found.

The insurer also found that employers may not realize how important long-term financial wellness is to younger generations; when asked to rate the importance of various financial matters, employer perceptions did not align with the opinions of Millennial and Gen X employees.

Prudential’s findings on employers’ increasing interest in financial wellness programs mirror results from the 7th annual survey about corporate health and well-being from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. That survey found that 76% of employers are now providing financial health programs.