Money matters remain the biggest worries for members of our workforce. According to the tenth annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), published in May 2021, 63 percent of full-time employees say their financial stress has increased since the start of the pandemic, hitting younger generations especially hard (millennials – 72 percent, Gen Z – 68 percent, Gen X – 62 percent, baby boomers – 46 percent).
The pandemic led to an overall decrease in household income for more than 25 percent of U.S. employees, many of whom remain unprepared for the impact of future unexpected events. As it currently stands, 42 percent of full-time employees find it difficult to meet household expenses on time each month, and 49 percent believe they’ll need to use money in their retirement plans prior to retirement.
The day-to-day challenge of managing their finances is leaving many employees stressed and distracted at work, which could directly impact organizations’ bottom lines in terms of productivity, retention, and employee health.
Employers have an opportunity right now to demonstrate enormous value to their employees by providing them with educational resources that give them the knowledge (i.e., the power) to take control of their financial futures, helping to alleviate their short- and long-term money worries and strengthen their overall financial wellness.
A secure, digital interface to promote financial wellness
Imagine embedding a secure, digital interface where your employees can create customized financial plans showing where they can cut spending, how to create an emergency fund, or how to achieve a long-term dream purchase. Many of these tools already exist today and consumer firms are focused on embedding them, like American Express. We believe employers need to be focused here, too.
Meanwhile, other digital financial planning tools can help employees:
- Determine whether they are saving enough to retire when they expect to.
- Craft plans for setting aside enough to meet emergency expenses and save enough money for a dream vacation or a large purchase.
- Understand Social Security, inflation, and healthcare, and figure out if they are financially prepared for the unexpected.
Offering access to digital financial wellness resources, which employees can utilize stress-free at their own pace, would likely be of value to many in today’s workforce.
For our own employees at Envestnet, access to the MyBlocks® offering developed by Envestnet | MoneyGuide (consisting of 20 digital, interactive financial planning modules, or “blocks”) has been most welcome. We first began offering use of the MyBlocks modules to all Envestnet’s more than 1,600 employees in the U.S. in April of 2020. Approximately 71 percent of our U.S.-based employees have logged into MyBlocks at least once to obtain a better handle on financial and retirement planning.
To further this effort, MoneyGuide just released My Plan Builder – an easy onramp to building a financial plan and a Play Zone ® for employees to view their financial plan results and play with factors within their control.
Giving employees the tools to take control of their financial futures is part of an employer’s fiduciary duty as the steward of workers’ 401k savings. But it also makes sense from the standpoint of improving productivity.
Employers can make a positive impact on the lives of their employees and their families during and after the pandemic by providing digital tools designed to improve financial wellness. For a refresher, check out our financial wellness page and resource library.
If you are an employer or employer wellness provider, contact Envestnet today at EmbeddedFinance@envestnet.com.
The information, analysis and opinions expressed herein are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Envestnet. These views reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing contained in this piece is intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type.