DC Plan Summit: Why financial education isn’t enough to change employee behaviour

Moderators: Erica Hall, assistant vice-president for client relations, group retirement solutions; and Sharon Seifried, national vice-president for corporate accounts, group retirement solutions, at Manulife Financial Corp.

While a significant portion of Canadians are in poor financial health, most don’t like to talk about money, particularly those with challenges in the area. As a result, addressing employees’ financial concerns needs to be part of every organization’s list of workplace wellness tactics. What are the best ways of connecting with employees on an emotional level in order to help them overcome barriers to facing financial issues?

Key takeaways:

❱ Helping employees overcome barriers is a collective responsibility that affects plan sponsors, the government, regulators and educators. While the issues involved are complex, resolving them can improve outcomes significantly.

❱ Techniques cited included better use of technology and the creation of real-life educational scenarios that represent all types of plan members, including retirees. The scenarios can help employees identify the issues in an impersonal and, therefore, less-threatening manner.

❱ It’s useful to increase employee awareness of available tools, such as employee assistance programs and the advice services that are often available in group plans.

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Read more coverage from the 2018 DC Plan Summit.