Canadians reported slightly higher levels of financial well-being in the summer of 2021, with many focusing on saving for retirement, according to a new survey by LifeWorks Inc.

The survey, conducted among 3,000 respondents, found a financial well-being index score of negative 1.6 compared to the pre-coronavirus pandemic benchmark, up slightly from negative 2.8 in the winter of 2020 and negative 2.2. in the spring of 2021.

Read: Pandemic impacting employees’ financial well-being, work productivity: survey

About a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said that saving for retirement is their current financial priority, while nine per cent said they’re prioritizing investing and 13 per cent said they’re keeping up with the bills or just getting by. These groups reported financial well-being scores of 12.3, 12.7 and negative 21.3, respectively. Respondents over the age of 50 are more likely (37 per cent) to report retirement savings as their financial priority compared to respondents under the age of 40 (eight per cent). In addition, 61 per cent said retirement savings is the most valuable program offered by their employer.

Slightly more than a fifth (21 per cent) of respondents said an employer-funded financial well-being program has helped them prepare for retirement and 10 per cent said their employer’s financial well-being program has helped them pay off debt, with these groups reporting financial well-being scores of 4.4 and negative 12.4, respectively. However, 38 per cent said their employer doesn’t offer a financial well-being program.

A quarter (26 per cent) said they’re unsure they could come up with $2,000 for an unexpected financial need, while 27 per cent said they spend their entire paycheque in a typical pay period and seven per cent spend more.

Read: Canadians’ financial well-being on the decline: survey

And while 26 per cent said they’re unwavering in their commitment to their organization, 74 per cent said they’d leave their job for an increase in salary. More than a fifth (22 per cent) would leave for a salary increase of 20 per cent, 17 per cent would leave for an increase of 50 per cent or more and just six per cent would leave for a five per cent increase.