For defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors to offer overall financial wellness programs to their employees is a growing trend. I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you feel financially well? What kind of financial wellness help could you use, and does your company offer overall financial wellness education/tools for employees?”
More than half (51.8%) of respondents said, “yes,” they feel financially well, 29.6% chose “somewhat,” and 18.5% said, “no.” “Preparing for spending in retirement” (57.7%) was the top-named financial wellness help that readers said they could use. The rest of the top three were “saving for health care” (38.5%) and “establishing an estate plan” (34.6%).
“Maximizing benefits choices” was selected by 19.2% of responding readers, and “paying off debt,” “saving for children’s college education” and “establishing emergency savings” were each chosen by 15.4% of readers. More than one in 10 (11.5%) would like help establishing a budget, and 7.7% would like help devising a plan for ongoing savings.
Sixty-three percent of readers indicated their firms offer financial wellness education/tools, and 37% reported their firms do not.
The majority of responding readers (65.4%) work in a plan sponsor role, 15.4% are advisers/consultants, 15.4% are third-party administrators (TPAs)/recordkeepers/investment managers, and 3.8% are attorneys.
As always, all verbatim responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of PLANSPONSOR and its affiliates at Strategic Insight. “I’m thinking a pay rise would help me accomplish most of these goals. Sigh ... not going to happen anytime soon ...”
“While I think employees could use help getting their finances in order, it would be easy to start intruding on employees’ personal financial decisions. The employer could gain access to employees’ confidential information. But if the education is too general and high-level, it may not be useful.”
“I am fortunate to have a DB [defined benefit] plan as some level of retirement security. The risks associated with a contributory plan make it difficult to truly rest easy.”
“As of today, I’m in great financial shape, but so were my parents the day they retired. Twenty years later, they weren’t. It wasn’t poor planning or a spendthrift lifestyle. They adjusted accordingly and passed, poor but content and at home. Even without all the king’s horses, I should be so lucky.”
“Money is often considered the No. 1 stressor. And we all know what stress does to us mentally and physically. Help your employees thrive in their financial well-being by offering guidance and education. Your employees and your bottom line will thank you.”
“With life expectancy longer and the inability to borrow for retirement, I think my financial wellness will stem from working longer.”
“In a society where, other than for a few, wages are almost stagnant, it is almost impossible to save enough for retirement and still have enough left over to pay the bills.”
“Dave Ramsey’s SmartDollar program for companies teaches members and employees to save money and pay down debt.”
And the Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “I really wish more people would tackle their finances head on. If they only knew how beneficial it would be to make sacrifices and wise decisions now! Get rid of that debt and save, save, save!”