Half of your employees are concerned, anxious, or fearful about their current financial well-being, according to a new survey conducted by MetLife. Only 38 percent of worker respondents said that they feel in control of their finances, 30 percent said that they lay awake at night worrying about money, and 23 percent admitted that they are less productive at work because of their financial concerns. Two-thirds of surveyed employers agreed that their employees are less productive when money problems are brought into the workplace, and 47 percent said that they believe they have some responsibility for the financial well-being of their employees.
Forty-two percent of worker respondents shared that belief, and more than half said that the benefits offered by their employer can help them gain peace of mind, relieve financial anxiety, improve productivity, and increase their ability to focus at work. In fact, 72 percent of surveyed employees described a 401(k) or other retirement plan as a “must-have” benefit. Fifty-three percent of worker respondents also stated that they would be more loyal to their current employer if financial planning programs were offered as an additional benefit. Employers should take note of that finding since 51 percent of surveyed workers said that they would be more likely to accept a job with a new employer that did provide access to financial planning programs.
Despite recognizing the value of a workplace-provided retirement plan to both their employees and their overall company, many small business owners do not offer workers such a benefit. A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts, for instance, found that many surveyed small employers would like to offer retirement savings options for their workers but feel that they face numerous barriers to doing so. Specifically, 37 percent of small business owner respondents said that offering a retirement plan is too expensive to set up, and 22 percent cited a lack of organizational resources as another hindrance. Fortunately, the are several options that can enable more small businesses to provide their workers with attractive retirement benefits.
For example, multiple employer plans (MEPs) allow two or more employers to participate in employee benefit plans that are maintained as a single plan. This pooling of plan assets can lead to a significant reduction in the barriers to entry (costs) associated with offering a high quality defined contribution (DC) plan, and lower administrative burdens and reduced fiduciary responsibilities are possible as well. More information on the advantages of MEPs can be found here, and additional help is available by working with a professional employer organization (PEO).
Sources: MetLife, NAPA, Pew Charitable TrustsPost author: Charles Couch