Empowering employees to improve their financial wellness

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Despite living in a sharing economy, we are still not open about our finances. Some of us aren’t even sharing issues related to money with our partners. For a topic that’s hidden behind closed doors, how can you help employers begin to have conversations with their employees about their financial wellness?

Employees are looking for support – 70% of group benefits plan members believe their employer has a responsibility to support their financial wellness. Echoing this responsibility, 73% of organizations agree that they have a responsibility to help their employees in this area. The good news is that many of the solutions available to your clients are easy to access and scalable for their workforce.

Financial wellness – state of the nation

First off, let’s define what financial wellness means. The term “financial wellness” includes three different elements:

  • Financial health – the ability to meet day-to-day expenses and plan for retirement.
  • Financial well-being – how a person feels about their financial situation and their ability to manage finances in the short and long term.
  • Financial literacy – knowledge and skills needed to make responsible financial decisions and apply those decisions to everyday life.

The landscape in Canada shows some very troubling numbers: average household debt is 167% of income, 40% spend all or more of their net pay, 30% of Canadians are insecure about their financial health and 40% feel overwhelmed by their level of debt. It’s no surprise that many working Canadians are looking for help from their employer.

Financial wellness should be important to employers

The financial wellness of employees can impact your clients in the short- and long-term. Financially unprepared employees may work longer and extend their retirement, which can affect succession planning, including the number of younger people an employer is able to hire and possibly engagement.

Over the short-term, excessive stress from poor financial wellness can contribute to poor physical and mental health, which can lead to absenteeism.

Supporting the financial wellness of employees

You can help employers close the gap in financial wellness and help employees take action: by improving financial literacy with education sessions, directing them to online financial planning tools, providing access to your services of financial planning in addition to leveraging existing retirement and savings plans to drive more personal savings and financial protection.

As an advisor, in partnership with your clients, you are are in an excellent position to provide their employees with the peace of mind and confidence that comes with financial knowledge, planning and support.

To learn more about employee financial wellness read Sun Life’s latest Bright Paper “Empowering employees to improve their financial wellness” at sunlife.ca/brightpapers.

This content is brought to you by Sun Life Financial. Group Benefits are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

Transcontinental Media G.P.