Financial education is a hot topic these days. Money used to be a “taboo” topic. As a result many people have not had the opportunity to learn smart financial planning principles. As an employer, you can help correct this problem and help your employees learn to be smart with their money. By offering financial planning assistance as part of your employee benefit package, you provide your employees with critical education and service. You may also help alleviate one of the biggest stressors, helping to create confident, happy and productive employees.
Many employees have come to look to their employers for finance and retirement planning assistance. While many companies offer retirement plans, employees can also benefit from help with planning finances now.
Employers who offer such advice and education can foster higher satisfaction and trust among their employees, and help their workers be less stressed about money.
This is significant because stressed and distracted employees tend to be less productive at work and have lower morale. Here are some considerations for helping your employees grow their financial and retirement knowledge.
What Are Financial Planning Assistance Benefits?
Many employers are noticing the financial troubles that plague their employees, and some companies are responding by offering financial planning assistance as a voluntary benefit. This benefit can help employees learn to manage money efficiently and give them peace of mind as they plan for both current and future financial needs.
Financial planning assistance benefits can help employees with financial issues and decisions ranging from daily budgeting to debt management to long-term investment strategies and retirement savings. Financial planning assistance can come in various formats:
Some employers may provide financial planning assistance benefits from internal human resource or finance department personnel, or they may bring in outside experts. These t may be paid consultants, affiliates or agents from a financial institution that agrees to provide counseling or seminars in exchange for the opportunity to promote their own services.
Ways to Provide Information to Employees
To meet these needs, many employers do the following for their employees:
- Host workshops on topics such as personal budgeting, credit managing, estate planning, estimating retirement savings and investment basics.
- Hire experts to provide detailed information on complicated finance issues, such as an attorney speaking to employees about creating a will.
- Organize lunch-and-learn seminars about financial topics such as understanding the stock market.
- Provide one-on-one counseling to discuss monthly budgeting and contributions to a 401(k).
- Offer access to online classes
- Financial software
- Financial calculators or budget templates
Benefits of Financial and Retirement Assistance
- Employees have an increased appreciation for their retirement benefits and a higher satisfaction for their employer.
- Employees have the knowledge to take more control of their finances, including budgeting, managing investments and increasing their savings, which can decrease stress about money and the future (creating happier, potentially more productive employees).
- Employees feel more empowered and in control of their future and well-being.
In addition to assistance you can provide employees personally, you can also utilize the resources of your 401(k) provider. You want to select a retirement provider who can help plan participants make solid investment decisions. When selecting a provider, look for companies that have the following resources:
- Online retirement-income calculators
- Assistance in creating a customized portfolio
- Education resources for employees on potential retirement concerns and ways to overcome them
Many people struggle with financial planning. Surveys reveal as many as two-thirds of employees admit worrying about their personal financial situations negatively affects their health. Financial planning can be difficult for a number of reasons, especially when you don’t have a budget, aren’t sure if you’re on the right track for retirement savings or simply don’t know who to trust for advice. If you worry about paying bills and saving for the future, you’re not alone.
Cautions for Providing Financial Planning Assistance and Retirement Advice
When giving out financial advice to your employees, ensure that they know it is simply that—advice. Remind employees not to make decisions they are uncomfortable with and should never make a decision if they feel pressured. Ensure employees are aware they may always seek a second opinion from a qualified financial advisor before committing to a financial plan. Look into all Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rules or consult with legal counsel before engaging in financial planning assistance.
For financial education resources you can use with your employees, contact your Roper insurance account executive today by email here or by phone at 303-721-1145.