As Financial Stress Levels Rise, So Does Demand for Financial Wellness Workplace Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded that employers reevaluate their existing employee benefit programs and make shifts to better support their teams through what has become the new normal.

A recent study conducted by John Hancock Retirement found that 90 percent of those surveyed feel it is important that their employer offer financial wellness programs that can help them navigate financial uncertainty.

Why the recent shift demanding financial wellness programs? Sixty-seven percent of those who participated in the John Hancock Retirement survey reported some level of financial stress, up from 44 percent prior to COVID-19. Seventy-nine percent of respondents indicated they are worried about current economic conditions.

A somber 35 percent of those surveyed said that their financial situation is fair or poor, and only 33 percent of respondents feel their financial situations will improve in the coming year.

It has been documented time and again that employee stress, including stress tied to financial wellbeing, have negative consequences on employee productivity and performance. But would workplace financial wellness programs improve stress levels? Survey participants say yes.

Seventy-five percent of survey participants believe that a financial wellness program offered by their employer would reduce their levels of financial stress.

“Employees are looking for advice and guidance, which employers can provide through a holistic financial wellness offering,” advises John Hancock Retirement Chief Data Officer, Lynda Abend.

“Employers are uniquely positioned to provide relief in many forms, including alleviating financial stress for their employees by revisiting the benefits playbook,” Abend added.

Just 12 percent of survey participants currently have access to an employer financial wellness program.

For full survey results and more information about the John Hancock Retirement study, please click here.

For Human Resource Executive Online’s coverage of this story, please click here.

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