Financial wellness programs on the upswing, reflecting high costs of financial stress

Mercer has released the second installment of the Inside Employee Minds (IEM) Financial Wellness survey, which found that employers could lose up to $250 billion in lost wages due to employees’ stress about their personal finances. Employees reported spending approximately 150 hours annually of their work time worrying about money. On a total US wage bill of $5 trillion, this could be costing employers up to $250 billion in lost wages each year. The survey also finds that employees with access to financial wellness have over twice the job satisfaction and higher levels of trust than those without access.

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“Financial stress has a clear cost to employers and the survey shows offering a financial wellness program has both tangible and intangible rewards for employers looking to differentiate their brand, improve the engagement of their people and add to the bottom line in terms of enhanced productivity.” said Betsy Dill, U.S. Financial Wellness Leader, Mercer. “Driven by the above factors, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of employers developing financial wellness programs. These programs differ from employer to employer based on the make-up of their workforce, the industry in which they compete and their eagerness to differentiate themselves in the increasingly difficult war for talent. The potential opportunity cost resulting from financially stressed employees is weighing on the minds of many CHROs and CFOs. There is a real call to action across corporate America to address this issue now.”

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