80% of Canadians want employer-provided financial education: survey

More than 80 per cent of Canadian employees would be interested in an employer-provided financial education program, according to a new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.

The survey, published during Financial Literacy Month, indicates that Canadians are dealing with increased financial stress, and that 50 per cent feel it affects their on-the-job performance.

“Financial stress affects both mental and physical health which can impact workplace productivity. Increased financial literacy can help reduce financial stress,” said Jane Rooney, financial literacy leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, in a news release.

Read: Just one-fifth of employers have formal strategy around employee financial wellness

“Employers are in a unique position to reach people where they are and help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions. The results benefit everyone.”

In terms of what employees want in a financial education program, more than half stated they’d prefer a lunch-and-learn session while only eight per cent said they’d be interested in an information session provided outside of work hours.

The survey also found nearly half (47 per cent) of survey respondents are living paycheque to paycheque, a figure that increases to 51 per cent for generation-Xers and 55 per cent for millennials. 

Read: Half of Canadians expect to work longer than planned as retirement savings fall short

In terms of savings, almost three-quarters of all survey respondents have saved 25 per cent or less than what they’ll need for retirement, with 47 per cent of those aged 50 and older stating that’s the case. And 46 per cent of all respondents believe they’ll have to work longer than they’d planned five years ago, with the top reason being they’re not saving enough.

“We know that many working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet financially and they need help,” said Janice MacLellan, vice-president of operations at the Canadian Payroll Association. “While many Canadians are well-intentioned, our survey results show that they are not making enough progress towards financial health and, ultimately, this is impacting their work and their lives.”

Read: Finding a cure for financially stressed employees