BOSTON — Distracted, stressed out and unproductive—that's not what any employer wants to hear about their workforce. But an employee's personal financial challenges can have a large impact on their job performance1and employers may pay the price with lower productivity, employee stress that drives turnover and unhealthy behavior that could raise health care costs.2And today's financial concerns could be tomorrow's big headache, as many Americans may not be on track to sufficiently cover their essential expenses in retirement.
Employers can help play a part—eight out of 10 surveyed by Fidelity say a Financial Wellness program can address employees' concerns.3 These programs assess a person's financial well-being, as well as provide information and simple steps to help them gain confidence and control over their finances, including budgeting, emergency savings, paying for college, health care expenses or planning for retirement.
"We're hearing from more employers about the need for Financial Wellness programs as they recognize employees need help in establishing good financial habits and sticking with them," said Julia McCarthy, executive vice president, Workplace Marketing, Solutions and Experience, Fidelity Investments. "With employers playing a larger role in the financial independence of their workforce, they can increase the likelihood people have healthy, productive, financially secure lives, before and during retirement".
Financial Wellness programs don't take a lot of employer resources, can be integrated into existing benefit programs and help manage workforce goals for the short-and long-term. They can help reduce employee stress and distraction, and increase productivity and engagement as they seek to meet the needs of a workforce that could span five generations, all with complex needs—from a Millennial managing college debt to a mid-career employee facing financial challenges to someone nearing retirement that has made good decisions along the way but still needs assistance.
The need for Financial Wellness resources, tools and guidance in the workplace is strong. In a Fidelity survey of retirement plan participants, 83 percent said that being financially well helps them feel physically well, and that the opportunity exists for more people to take advantage of Financial Wellness programs in the workplace.4
"The 401(k) provider is in a great position to offer engaging solutions because they already have communication with employees and an existing trusted relationship," said Jania Stout, practice leader and co-founder, Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower, Baltimore, Md.
Fidelity is helping employers and helping to equip advisors with Financial Wellness through its Financial Basics program, the MyMoney site for younger workers and the Retirement Transition Services experience, which helps pre-retirees make decisions around income, Social Security and health care.
Fidelity's commitment to better outcomes now expands beyond retirement into overall financial well-being, and will keep growing to help employers meet the evolving needs of all employees in ways that work best for them.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.2 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of October 31, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 24 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 42,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.