A majority (63 per cent) of U.S. employees said their employer doesn’t offer a financial wellness program, according to a new survey by the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association.
It found only 18 per cent of respondents have access to financial wellness resources through their employer and, of these respondents, just eight per cent have used the programs. A fifth (19 per cent) of respondents said they’re unsure if these programs are available through their employer.
Two-thirds (68 per cent) of all respondents and 71 per cent of respondents participating in a retirement plan said they want financial education programs to provide tools to help them make important decisions. The top three topics for such programs are financial planning (64 per cent), budgeting (61 per cent) and managing debt (57 per cent). Three-quarters (75 per cent) said they prefer individual in-person meetings to discuss financial wellness, compared to individual virtual meetings (64 per cent) and group classes (40 per cent).
Most respondents said they prefer their employer deferring financial wellness to third-party financial experts to provide training and education (52 per cent) or to advise based on personal financial information (37 per cent). A quarter (24 per cent) said they want their employer directly involved in financial education, while 18 per cent said they don’t want their employer involved in their personal finances in any way.
Two-thirds (64 per cent) said banks are their most trusted source of financial wellness information, followed by investment companies (59 per cent) and the administrator of their employee savings program (56 per cent). While 44 per cent of all respondents said they’re very comfortable with receiving financial information from their employer, only 25 per cent of employees aged 55 to 70 agreed with that statement, compared to 68 per cent of employees aged 21 to 22.
Respondents who described themselves as financially comfortable were most trusting of financial information supplied by their employers (44 per cent), compared to 33 per cent who said they’re just getting by and 22 per cent of those who are struggling to make ends meet.