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Equitable Bank’s 2022 Workplace Benefits Awards win is empowering employees to ask for more financial wellness benefits and to recognize the full range of resources available to them, says Madison Dickson, the bank’s human resources coordinator.

“The win enhanced our employee experience because more employees feel comfortable coming up to [our team] and saying, ‘I would love to see this in our benefits’ or ‘Can we up financial contributions for our registered retirement savings plans?’ It also created more exposure for everything we offer. Sometimes employees forget everything that’s available to them, so announcing this win sort of prompted them to take full advantage of the financial resources we offer.”

Read: Equitable Bank recognized for comprehensive financial wellness program

The bank’s comprehensive financial literacy webinars — which covered topics such as estate planning, retirement readiness and inflation — led to a win in the financial wellness category at last year’s awards. Attendance at these webinars increased by 900 per cent compared to when the seminars were held onsite.

The award demonstrates how the bank is trying to improve the lives of employees through benefits and financial education, says Lolo Lam, senior manager of HR. “We’re always asking employees what we can do to improve and actively take their feedback into consideration. The win was a celebration for all of us since we’re working hard to improve our benefits. We want to challenge the way other financial institutions do things and I think our financial wellness program is just one of the ways we’re successful in doing that.”

Equitable Bank offers a group RRSP and a deferred profit-sharing plan, with the employer contributing three per cent to the DPSP even if employees don’t make personal contributions to the RRSP.

Read: U.S. workers more likely to stay with employer offering financial wellness benefits: survey

“In terms of our RRSP, we’re taking care of our employees beyond their time at Equitable,” notes Dickson. “The idea is once you’re an employee, we’ll always have your back through the savings you’ve accrued while working with us. [This win] opened up the conversation more to allow us to expand our portfolio.”

Moving forward, Lam says the bank will continue surveying and monitoring what works best for employees in terms of financial literacy and to ensure their financial goals are adequately supported.

Enter the 2023 Workplace Benefits Awards here. The deadline is June 30.