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Do your employees really want financial advice?

The 2018 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report pointed to a disconnect between what retirement plan sponsors think participants want in a wellness program and what participants actually want.

For instance, “employers tend to focus on actions to manage immediate financial needs, such as budgeting and handling expenses. Meanwhile, employees most prioritize long-term financial goals, such as tactics that help them save and invest for the future.”

The growing trend of marrying health and wealth in wellness programs is apparently of little interest to workers, too. Only seven percent of those surveyed think health care is an important component of financial wellness.

So, what do retirement plan participants want?

Key findings mentioned in the report include:

  • Employees feel the best approach to improve financial wellness is getting a personal financial assessment, supported by specific actions to take.

  • Employees would also like help tracking and measuring their progress.

  • Employees say advice from a professional would be best.

  • 70 percent of employees say they would be comfortable sharing financial information, such as savings and investments, as part of an employer-offered financial assessment.

  • 81 percent of employees say they prefer that financial wellness be offered as a bundled program rather than as stand-alone resources.

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