Majority of Canadians interested in workplace financial education: survey

The majority (84 per cent) of employees would be interested in obtaining financial education programming in the workplace, according to a survey by the Canadian Payroll Association.

The survey, which polled more than 5,000 employees from across Canada, found that, among those respondents who want financial education in the workplace, 40 per cent cited planning and saving for the future as their preferred topic. And 46 per cent of all respondents said financial stress impacts their workplace performance.

“Decreased productivity, absenteeism and high turnover are just some of the negative ways that stress arising from finances can affect employees,” said Peter Tzanetakis, president of the Canadian Payroll Association. “Employers are uniquely positioned to support employee financial wellness, either by offering them financial resources or methods to help employees save.”

Read: Employers have role in mitigating impact of financial stress: report

More than half (53 per cent) of survey respondents said their employer offers automatic payroll deductions to divert income into a savings or retirement plan. However, among those who have the option, just 56 per cent actually make use of it.

The survey also found Canadians are burdened by debt and savings. Almost half (44 per cent) of respondents said they live paycheque to paycheque, while 40 per cent said they feel overwhelmed by the amount of debt they’re carrying and 34 per cent said their debt load has increased in the past year.

The primary reason for this growing debt is increased spending, according to survey respondents. In terms of top financial concerns, Canadian employees cited a higher cost of living and worries about increasing interest and mortgage rates. In all, 96 per cent of respondents said they expect their cost of living to increase in the coming year.

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