A recent public opinion report found that 86% of those 25 and older believe our country faces a retirement crisis and nearly 75% are concerned about their ability to achieve a successful retirement. Clearly more people need assistance when it comes to planning and saving for their financial future.

The good news is that financial wellness programs can help. These programs have proven to improve the financial outlook of employees by helping them take charge of their short-term and long-term financial needs. And luckily, company-sponsored financial wellness programs are gaining in popularity. In fact, a new study found 89% of employers say they are likely to add tools, services or communications to expand their employee financial well-being focus this year.

Yet, despite the growing popularity and importance, there is no single agreed upon definition of financial wellness. However, there are common elements many industry experts agree should be present in a financial wellness program for it to work. If you have a financial wellness program or are thinking about one, ensure it includes these elements to achieve the best results:

Four elements that put the “well” in financial wellness programs:

  1. Comprehensive approach to an employee’s complete financial picture with the end goal of enhancing overall financial well-being.
  2. Strikes a balance between managing daily finances and planning for immediate needs with long-term goals.
  3. Includes objective measures of employee financial status like assets, debt burden, spending and emergency savings as well as subjective measures like stress levels and satisfaction levels.
  4. Connects financial education, tools, customized support and guidance with opportunities to implement financial decisions supporting better financial outcomes.

The bottom-line.
Remember, just like the definition of financial wellness varies, so do financial wellness programs. The choices you make can help improve participant retirement outcomes for all employees so it’s critical to understand whether or not your financial wellness program is doing what it should. Ultimately, if your program does a good job moving employees from “help me” to “empowerment” while at the same time preparing them for a successful financial future, consider it a win for your employees and a win for your business.

Blue Prairie Group can help.

We have built a database of financial wellness providers, as well as an evaluation tool that can help you find the best financial wellness program based on your needs, budget and demographics. By leveraging powerful online tools and personal advice from our Certified Financial Planners, we can build a customized program that will help employees take charge and improve their financial future while improving the health of your plan at the same time.

Watch for your invitation to our upcoming webinar on July 19th about how to evaluate financial wellness programs so you can find the best one for your plan, or click here to register.