Employers can do more to help financial wellness

by Steve Randall22 May 2018

Financial literacy does not necessarily mean financial wellness according to research from Mercer.

The consulting firm polled 1,500 workers across Canada and asked about their financial attitudes, preferences and behaviours to identify steps employers need to take to help workers achieve it.

It found that Canadian workers have a generally high level of knowledge about finances (51% said they were knowledgeable) but 70% would struggle to deal with a financial shock such as 3 months out of work.

Almost 4 in 10 said their monthly loan repayment was more than their take home pay and 51% said they had been stressed by financial matters; this rises to 67% among women.

The study says that knowledge is not translating into action and financial security and wellness but that there is more that employers can do to help.

while financial wellness programs are viewed as a major factor in selecting a new employer (30%), few trust their employers when it comes to financial information or advice. Only 40% of workers surveyed say they trust their employers, compared with 72% who trust their personal finance advisor.

“Something we see time and time again is financial literacy doesn’t translate into financial wellness,” says Jillian Kennedy, Leader of Canadian DC and Financial Wellness at Mercer in Canada. “It’s a trend that spans all ages, income levels and gender. From productivity to engagement to employee health, it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to be a part of the solution in bridging wellness and literacy for employees.”


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