The Proof is in: Financial Education at Work is a Key Benefit

By Kevin Mercadante

May 2, 2017

Financial education at work

The proof is in: employers who offer financial education at work have the least stressed and most productive workers.

About two-thirds of employers provide financial education, according to a study from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Of those, two-thirds say it is successful.

The best results come in the area of investing, where 73% of employers that offer financial education say it improves their workers’ investing skills. Other areas where employers see results are in saving, where 70% say financial education is successful; insurance (47%); budgeting (43%); and smart spending (33%).

Drilling down to more specific topics, the study found financial education was most successful in understanding retirement plan benefits (77% of employers say that is the case). Other specific areas of success include pre-retirement financial planning (61%); investment management and asset allocation (57%); and retirement plan distributions (54%).

Overall, employers that offer financial education say just 39% of their employees are “not at all or only a little bit financially savvy.” That compares to 62% of the employers that d not offer financial education.

A similar gulf exists in retirement planning, where only 29% of employers providing financial education rate their employees as “not at all or only a little prepared to retire” compared to 43% of firms that do not offer financial education, according to the study.

The most successful method of delivering financial education is through classes and workshops. Some 91% of employers offering this support report success using these methods. Another key to success: 79% of companies say offering financial education during the regular workday works best. One-on-one meetings are seen as twice as successful as group meetings.

Of employers offering financial education, 49% say it is most successful when provided for a period of 10 years or longer, compared to just 5% that say it is successful after one or two years.

The findings are consistent with other surveys. A PwC 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that nearly one in three employees reports that issues with personal finance are a distraction at work. In general, a stressed worker is an unproductive worker, and a leading cause of stress is money. That’s why employers increasingly offer financial education.

More workplace financial education:

Why Companies Offer A Financial Wellness Program

Financial Education is Better Than Auto Enrollment

Workplace Financial Education Triggers 401(k) Enrollment

How to Make Banks Easier to Understand

Workers Want Better Financial Education with 401(k)s

What We Know About Money from Broke Athletes

Workplace Financial Education is Lifting 401(k) Savings

Posted in Workplace on May, 2017