While in 2013 only 13 percent of employers felt extremely responsible for employees’ financial awareness, that number has skyrocketed to 62 percent in 2020, according to a Bank of America survey of 808 businesses that have a 401(k) plan.
There are many reasons financial wellness has become so important. To employees and employers. First, employers have found that financial wellness increases employee engagement.
It’s also becoming more important than ever to make sure people are able to handle unexpected financial situations. Plus debt, particularly student loan debt, is become a major stressor for employees.
In fact, managing finances is the top stressor for employees, according to PwC, and that stress is so bad it often becomes a distraction at work.
How to address financial wellness in the workplace
There are several ways companies can help employees improve their financial wellness.
Some topics lend themselves to workshops or training. Other topics could include offering employee benefits that help save (or earn) money.
The biggest area is saving for retirement. As many people know, that can include having a 401(k), Roth IRA, automating savings, reducing expenses and other ways to save for when your career is over. Other areas that have grown over the years include health savings accounts, budgeting, debt management and saving for college.
There are other ways to help employees with their financial wellness in their everyday lives. The first is by offering benefits that employees can save money like commuter benefits.
Commuters can save up to 40 percent each month on commuting costs with commuter benefits. Commuters set aside up to $270 per month in their paychecks, tax-free, for use on public transit, rideshares, shared mobility services and qualified parking.
Business owners can save $41 per employee per month because of the reduced payroll tax. If 75 employees take advantage, a business could save $36,000 over 12 months. Moving beyond the commute, businesses can also help employees save money by offering the Ticket Restaurant meal card program.
Ticket Restaurant allows employers to give employees a monthly meal allowance. Employees use a prepaid card to pay for meals. It’s a low-cost benefit to offer employees and helps them save money every month. They get flexible dining options while helping businesses build employee loyalty.
The future of financial wellness
Financial wellness should continue to be a major topic for businesses in the years ahead. Bank of America reported that the percentage of employees who say their financial wellness skills are good is declining, from 61 percent in 2018 to 49 percent in 2020.
With society facing a lot of uncertainties, it’s a great time to help your employees out by adding financial wellness education and benefits to your offer.
Commuter benefits, for example, is a great way to give more choices to your employees to help them get to work safely and save money at the same time. Download the education guide below to learn more: