Three-quarters (74 per cent) of employees said financial benefits, such as savings tools, offered by their employer at the time of a pay raise would lead to less stress, while 78 per cent said it would help them feel more confident about their finances, according to a new survey by Commonwealth.

The survey, which polled more than 1,300 U.S. employees earning less than $60,000 a year, also found a large majority agreed employer-offered financial benefits at the time of a raise would encourage them to work harder at their jobs (62 per cent), be more productive (62 per cent) and be more likely to stay with a company (76 per cent).

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

“The moment of a raise is a unique opportunity to build employees’ financial security, with benefits for workers and firms alike,” said Timothy Flacke, executive director of Commonwealth, in a press release.  “Employers that offer sensible tools and incentives to help employees save can both bolster worker financial security and realize the benefits of employees being less impacted by financial anxiety and, ultimately, more productive.”

Among survey respondents, 65 per cent said they’re struggling or just getting by and 45 per cent said they don’t save regularly. Nearly 77 per cent indicated they don’t save more money because they can’t afford to do so. Among the 55 per cent who said they save some amount each month, only 24 per cent put aside a fixed amount while the other 31 per cent said they saved whatever was left at the end of the month. 

Just over half (57 per cent) of surveyed employees said they have a savings account. Among this group, 70 per cent said they make periodic manual transfers into the account and only a third said they take advantage of an employer-offered opportunity to split direct deposit.

Read: Half of Canadians say financial stress is affecting workplace performance: survey

The survey also found many employees are interested in their employers offering tools such as automatic bill pay (52 per cent), low-interest debt repayment (63 per cent), low-interest loans (57 per cent) and student loan repayment (45 per cent).

And, although employees expressed interest in employer-provided financial tools, only about 37 percent said they’d trust financial advice or offers coming from their employers.

“Through high-value, surprisingly straightforward interventions, employers can play a large part in increasing the financial security of their lower-wage employees — a result that benefits not only the individual, but also provides significant business value,” said Flacke. “As a result, employers will share the rewards of their employees’ increased financial security.”

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

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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