One-fifth (21 per cent) of employer respondents to a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans provide financial or retirement education programs in the workplace to ensure employees can securely retire, while another 20 per cent do so to reduce financial distress so employees can be more productive and engaged at work.

The survey, which was conducted among 150 Canadian and U.S. benefits industry leaders at a recent IFEBP conference, also found that 19 per cent of respondents provide financial education simply because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said the single largest influencer for employees’ financial decisions are their family members, friends, co-workers and peers.

Read: Employers must do more to help staff transition to retirement

“In our focus groups, surveys and case study work, we’ve seen the importance of workplace champions,” said Julie Stich, CEBS, research director at the IFEBP. “Champions are passionate about the benefit in question – in this case, financial education.

“Often they’ll embrace the education they receive from their employer and pursue more information on their own. They’ll adopt the benefit in their own life and eagerly talk with their co-workers about it as well. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and ‘peer’ status grabs their co-workers’ attention and trust.”

Read: Employee Financial Well-Being to launch online pilot program

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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