Wants and Needs: What Financial Benefits Do Workers Expect?

Saving for retirement was essentially agreed to by both workers and employers, but ...

401k, workers, retirement, benefitsDebt reduction, student loans?

Employers are from Mars, workers Venus. We know a gap exists in perceptions between the two camps, and now it extends to the amount of financial help each thinks employers should provide.

The good news is that employers continue to expand their financial wellbeing programs.

Yet two new reports from Alight Solutions, a tech-enabled health, wealth, HR and finance solutions provider, find that “there may be a disconnect between the financial help workers believe their employer should provide and the help employers think they should provide when it comes to areas beyond basic retirement savings and insurance services.”

According to Alight Solutions’ 2017 Financial Mindset Study and the 2018 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing report, workers consistently said they want more help across a variety of financial topics than employers believe they should offer.

Saving for retirement was essentially agreed to by both workers and employers (88 percent versus 84 percent), but obtaining life insurance was less so (81 percent versus 68 percent).

Yet Alight also took a look at non-retirement-related benefits such as helping to pay off student loans, saving for a child’s education and identity theft protection.

As expected, employers weren’t all that excited to pony up.

While companies have been moving in the right direction by broadening the types of financial wellbeing tools and resources they provide, workers are still asking for more help,” explained Rob Austin, head of Research at Alight Solutions. “Offering help for every financial topic isn’t practical or necessary, but there is an opportunity for companies to determine the financial issues that are most relevant and pressing for their people and provide support in the areas that will be the most meaningful.

Alight’s research suggests that people who have access to broader financial wellbeing programs are more confident in their current financial situation and are better prepared to build a more secure financial future.

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