Financial Services Employees no More Savvy About Benefits and Saving

June 3, 2008 ( - Despite their knowledge of financial services and products, financial services employees seem no more knowledgeable about employee benefits and saving for retirement than employees of other industries.

This was the conclusion of a recent study by MetLife which found that more than half (54%) of financial services employees surveyed say they are behind schedule for achieving their retirement financial goals. According to a MetLife press release on the study, this is a greater number than the proportion of employees across all industries that say the same (47%).

Less than one-third of employees in the financial services industry report they are on track with their retirement savings goals.

Other key findings of the study, according to the release, include:

  • Fewer than half of surveyed financial services employees are confident that they can articulate the difference between worker’s compensation coverage and disability income insurance.
  • One in four admits knowing little or nothing about long term disability insurance protection and term life insurance.
  • Sixty-one percent of employees surveyed are unfamiliar with variable universal life, almost half (48%) are unfamiliar with long-term care insurance, and 29% are unfamiliar with accidental death and dismemberment policies.

“Despite higher than average levels of compensation, employees in the financial services industry – encompassing finance, insurance, and real estate – have similar levels of coverage for basic financial protection coverage – such as life and disability insurance – as those of workers in other industries,” MetLife said.

However, among financial services employees, MetLife’s research reveals that over 40% of employees making under $50,000 a year do not have disability insurance, while 34% do not have term life insurance. In addition, 10% of these employees are unsure whether they own disability insurance, and 17% are unsure whether they own term life coverage.

For financial services employees making over $100,000, more than 35% of financial services employees have not considered annuities in order to provide income in retirement, 45% have not evaluated the costs of long-term care for elderly parents or spouses, and nearly half (45%) have not discussed how they will afford medical care in retirement with a financial professional.

A paper offered by MetLife suggests ways financial services employers can improve benefits knowledge employees with a wide range of ages and salaries as well as income structures. A complimentary copy of What Financial Services Companies Can Do to Stand Out in a Competitive Talent Market: Innovative Employee Benefits Solutions for the Financial Services Industry is available at .