Voya is one of the latest companies to unveil new offerings aimed at enhancing emergency savings among retirement plan participants, reflecting the fact that many participants are struggling with short-term financial needs.
The Financial Wellness Experience, as Voya calls its new feature, will include access to “guidance and personal financial planning services” through the usage of resource centers, where participants will find “educational articles, life-stage tips, planning tools and calculators,” according to the company. Voya says participants will have to complete an assessment, where then they will receive targeted summaries and web dashboards, along with access to Voya’s “six pillars” programming. The pillars are identified as protection; spending and saving; emergency funds; retirement; debt and other savings goals. From there, Voya says, participants can recognize their personal performance within each pillar.
The wellness tool was implemented after studies showed a growing need for short-term savings funds. A previous Voya Financial Wellness Experience study found about half (49%) of those who completed an online assessment said they “do not have three months of living expenses to cover an emergency,” according to Voya. Additionally, a recent Prudential finding showed 63% of participants reported they do not have the means to pay a $500 emergency, and a past Federal Reserve Report stated 40% of Americans could not afford a $400 emergency expense.
“Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial goals, but it’s never done in a vacuum—and we know that more immediate life events and competing priorities can often impact one’s ability to save,” says Christine Lange, senior vice president, Retirement Digital Solutions for Voya Financial. “As part of our commitment to making a secure financial future possible for all Americans, we believe in a holistic wellness approach—ranging from self-directed digital planning tools to meeting with financial professionals who can offer advice and guidance.”