40% of Canadian workers trust employer for financial information, advice

About a third (30 per cent) of Canadian workers view financial wellness programs as a major factor in selecting a new employer, but only 40 per cent trust the organization they work for when it comes to information or advice, according to a new survey by Mercer.

The survey, which polled 1,500 Canadian employees, found that just under three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents trust their personal finance advisor.

Read: Financial well-being affecting work performance, stress levels

“There’s no one-size-fits all approach for employers to help their employees,” said Jillian Kennedy, leader of Canadian defined contribution and financial wellness at Mercer Canada, in a news release.

“It’s important to tailor wellness programs to each company’s workforce to drive productivity and engagement, not to mention general health overall.”

Overall, the survey found women reported feeling less savvy about financial matters, with 43 per cent saying they felt knowledgeable or fairly knowledgeable, versus 58 per cent of men. Women also reported feeling more stress about their financial situations, with 67 per cent feeling that way. Among all respondents, 51 per cent reported feeling stress about financial matters.

Read: Prevention key to addressing the psychological impacts of financial stress

Being able to manage a financial shock would be difficult for 70 per cent of respondents, the survey found, while 39 per cent said their total monthly loan payment is more than their take-home pay.

“Something we see time and time again is financial literacy doesn’t translate into financial wellness,” said Kennedy.

“It’s a trend that spans all ages, income levels and gender. From productivity to engagement to employee health, it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to be a part of the solution in bridging wellness and literacy for employees.”

The survey found it’s possible to assess financial wellness asking people whether they have control over their day-to-day and monthly finances, they’re able to absorb a financial shock, they’re making progress towards financial goals and they have the freedom to make choices to allow for enjoyment of life, such as being able to retire or go on vacation.

Read: Behavioural changes key to managing financial health like a chronic condition