- There may be a knowledge gap in the understanding and use of employee benefits among certain employee populations, MassMutual has concluded from the results of its recent workplace benefits survey. "More lower- and middle-income workers are likely to say that they wish their employer did more to help them set financial priorities than upper-middle-income workers," said Jon Shuman, leader of MassMutual's voluntary benefits unit, in a press release.
- The survey also found that although only one in four employees is offered financial education at work, as many as half would welcome additional help or guidance on personal finances from their employer. More than half also expressed a desire for their employer to provide more education about saving for retirement.
- Millennials are dramatically more open and interested in receiving help at the workplace, MassMutual also found; seven in 10 said they'd welcome financial planning services and six in 10 said they would be interested in budgeting assistance at work.
While it's promising that some employees are open to financial education, other studies show that some workers are less informed about their benefits than they realize. A Guardian study released in June showed that although 80% of employees believed they understood their benefits, only 49% actually did.
Employers should be concerned with that statistic for several reasons. First, employers won't be able to enjoy the engagement and retention benefits that come with employee perks if employees don't know about them or don't know how to use them. And when employees understand what their full compensation package is worth, they're more likely to be satisfied with their pay, recent research shows. In addition, personal financial problems are one of the greatest distractions for employees at work, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation.
Finally, employees who aren't financially secure often can't retire. The result is an aging workforce that retires en masse, leaving employers to deal with a company-wide brain drain.