Most Americans are seriously anxious about their finances. It’s not simply the raw fear of outliving their money, but a more urgent yearning to sleep at night without money stresses and to have a sense of financial security. Employers, I’m pleased to say, are increasingly taking note. The recently-released eighth annual Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Survey from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments found that 84% of 141 large- and mid-sized companies surveyed now have financial wellness programs, up from 76% a year ago.
It’s hard to say precisely what’s spurring the interest, but a myriad of factors are pushing employers to pay attention. For starters, numerous surveys have trumpeted the bad news blues about employee money angst.
For example, PwC’s 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey of 1,600 full-time employed adults said that 53% of employees are stressed about their finances. Those who are stressed are more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, miss work due to their personal financial issues and cite health issues caused by financial stress. And a new Paychex survey of 1,000 full-time employees discovered that most felt the most important job incentive was regular bonuses — that ranked higher than paid vacation and health insurance.