Financial Wellness at Work



While Financial Literacy Month is mostly about raising awareness in general, that awareness tends to revolve around individual savings strategies and early learning initiatives for young students. While equipping future generations of the workforce with the necessary knowledge and tools to make informed financial decisions is important, it is also crucial to ensure that today’s workforce – tomorrow’s retirees – are not left behind.

As of the start of 2022, 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, according to CNBC. That includes those earning six figures, with 48% reporting they too are living from one payday to the next.

Despite rising wages, inflation continues to outpace earnings, but in many cases those larger paychecks are not providing the financial security increasing wages imply1. So, what can be done to improve the financial wellness among the majority of working Americans?

According to Forbes, many organizations are beginning to include financial fitness among their employee health and benefits programs. In fact, 46% of employers offer some kind of financial wellness program already with 80% of those employers reporting that financial wellness programs foster greater productivity, engagement and loyalty among employees2. In today’s highly competitive labor market, adding a financial wellness program is a mutually beneficial strategy, but how does an organization implement such a program?

While most employers already provide access to important retirement savings options, such as Roth IRA and 401(k) contributions, they are only part of the equation. According to ADP, financial education and access to financial planning and investing experts are other options that can take employee financial fitness to the next level2. Further, the 2021 PwC Employee Wellness Survey sets forth four recommendations for strengthening financial wellness among employees, including finding the business case for financial fitness programs (see above), acknowledging employees’ personal and financial constraints, leveraging momentum toward good financial habits, and finding a solution that pairs technology with human interaction and guidance3.

The last element is especially important, as SHRM reports that more than 50% of employees experiencing financial difficulties are hesitant to ask for help with managing those finances. It is for this reason that digital financial wellness solutions are so popular: privacy. While more complex financial questions may require input from a human counselor, starting with a digital option is key among today’s employees. In fact, according to experts, digital financial literacy content, decision support tools and goal planning are particularly popular among Millennial and Gen Z employees4.

Do you have insights or questions about financial wellness plans? Share this story on Facebook, and tag @MICPA with your questions or experience so others can benefit from and join the conversation! 

  1. Timmes, Michael. “Five Tips for Business Leaders to Support…Forbes. 15 Mar. 2022. Accessed 21 Mar. 2022.
  2. Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Guide for Employers.ADP. 2020. Accessed 21 Mar. 2022.
  3. Staeger, Cornell & Aaron J. Harding. “Four Steps Employers Should Take to Stregnthen…PwC. 2021. Accessed on 21 Mar. 2022.
  4. Zielinski, Dave. “Employers Turn to Financial Wellness for Workers.SHRM. 12 Jul. 2021. Accessed on 21 Mar. 2022.

Source: MICPA

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