The tide appears to be turning in favor of financial wellness programs in the workplace. While lagging more traditional benefits (e.g., health insurance and 401(k) plans), financial wellness programs are closing the gap. And employers are coming to see financial wellness programs within a comprehensive compensation and benefits package as a way to improve the use of other benefit options, particularly retirement benefits.
Executives are the chief decision makers on whether to add financial wellness programs but only with substantial input from human resources, employee benefits and finance. As outlined in the following pages, data from our employer survey found no material differences among the attitudes of these groups. Indeed, they were in broad agreement about the advantages and challenges of implementing financial wellness programs. Their chief concerns center on potential costs and resource demands.
That said, an aggregate view of employers' aims for such a program—including its individual components—points to a program that may be easily managed in the context of existing benefit programs and fee structures. A financial wellness program that serves as a complement to existing programs may be able to potentially drive better outcomes for employees, higher utilization of employer-sponsored savings and investment programs, and productivity gains from a reduction of financial-related stress.