Financial Wellness Benefits: Evaluating the 9 Latest Trends
Employers everywhere are looking to offer better financial wellness benefits to their employees. According to a recent survey from Bank of America's Navigating a New Era of Financial Wellness 2022 Workplace Benefits Report, 97% of employers feel responsible for their employees' financial wellness.
Offering employees well-rounded financial wellness benefits can reduce stress, aiding employees and employers. Less employee stress equals better performance and improved morale.
According to Stress.org, 20% of workers spend 5 hours per week thinking about the things that stress them. When calculated into a full-time salary of $60,000, decreased productivity can cost $1,500 per employee each year.
Employers can work to reduce wasted on-the-clock hours while improving the lives of their employees by staying up-to-date on the current trends in financial wellness. As a result, you can gain ideas, stay relevant, and avoid losing money by falling behind what other companies offer their employees.
1. Student Loan Repayment Assistance
A recent addition to employee benefits by several companies is student loan repayment assistance. From 2020-2025, employers can offer up to $5,250 in student loan repayment assistance as an employee benefit without paying a penny in taxes. By giving employees this benefit, you can help reduce their stress and provide an incentive to stay with your company for the long haul.
2. Financial Counseling Services
Financial counseling services are a combination of one-on-one coaching, education, access to money management tools, and ongoing support. Getting your employees motivated to work on their financial health and providing them with the support they need can encourage them to pay off debt, save for retirement, improve their credit score, and even buy a house.
In addition, since debt, stress, and other money-related issues affect much of an employee's work, employers can benefit from increased productivity and improved job satisfaction.
3. Retirement Planning Assistance
From tax management to insurance planning, a financial professional can help your employees figure out what to focus on to retire
A financial professional can guide employees on the ins and outs of what your company offers and give insight into investment accounts, retirement income, and insurance planning. Offering retirement planning assistance shows employees that you are invested in their future, giving them a reason to invest their time and skills in your company. Invested employees stick around longer and are generally more productive.
4. Budgeting and Financial Planning Tools
People who aren't financially stressed and laden with debt are happier, more focused, and more effective. The same goes for your employees.
One of the most significant ways to help your employees with their finances is to offer tools and education for improving their finances. For example, as part of your financial wellness benefits, you can include access to budgeting apps, education, and coaching on budgeting and planning for financial goals.
5. Flexible Spending Accounts
An employer-sponsored account, like a flexible spending account (FSA), allows employees to set aside their earnings before taxes are taken out. A percentage of their compensations are taken out and set aside to pay for eligible health care costs or dependent care expenses. Employees get to decide how much they want to contribute each year.
FSA’s can help your employees lower their income tax while benefiting your company. Employers save the Medicare and social security tax rate at a combined rate of 7.65% on the valued amount of employee contributions.
6. Mental Health Support
Since COVID, employers have woken up to the need to support their employee's mental health.
Support can include covering mental health wellness visits in your employees' health coverage and offering mental health days when an employee may need a break. Research has shown that when actively treating mental health, productivity increases and absenteeism decreases. Studies also found that 71% of employees said they would stay at their jobs if mental health resources were offered.
7. Emergency Savings Fund
An emergency savings fund (ESA) grants a percentage of your employee's earnings to be deposited automatically into a separate bank account. They benefit from drawing from it when things are tight or unexpected expenses come their way. An ESA can lower employee stress, improving productivity and increasing retention.
8. Health Savings Account
A health savings account works like an ESA. A percentage of the employee's earnings automatically gets deposited into a separate account for health care or other eligible expenses. Identical to a flexible spending account, the employee's earnings can be deposited pretax and used for eligible costs. For employers, this cutting-edge benefit is popular with millennials.
9. Bill Negotiation and Subscription Cancellation Services
Consider bill negotiation and subscription cancellation services if you're looking for additional benefits to support your employee's financial wellness. Further savings opportunities can be added at no extra cost to you.
A bill negotiation or subscription cancellation service is the perfect program to reduce employee expenses and lower internet and wireless bills. In turn, it makes it easier for employees to stick with a budget and provide more room in their budget to put toward an emergency fund or savings account.
Employee Financial Wellness Benefits Can Keep Your Company Relevant
Employers and HR managers should stay in touch with what employees want and expect from their jobs regarding financial wellness benefits. Staying up to date on trends and finding the best solutions for your employees will increase productivity and morale while encouraging your employees to stick with you for the long haul.
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