Major life goals often hinge on one’s financial situation. Whether someone wants to get out of debt, buy a home, help a child go to college, or reach another major financial goal, employers are often in a unique opportunity to help them succeed.
Here are strategies you can take as an employer to help your valued employees reach common financial goals:
According to a report from Pew Trusts, 80% of Americans owe money on some type of debt. With the exception of a mortgage, most people would benefit from paying off all debts as quickly as possible. Doing so can make funds available for savings and investments that would otherwise be out of reach.
As with all of these goals, financial literacy resources could go a long way in goal planning. You could offer loan repayment assistance as an employee benefit. This particular benefit is growing in popularity for student loans..
You could also help employees avoid debt by offering earned wage access through PayActiv.
Earned wage access helps your employees avoid late fees, overdraft fees, and expensive payday loans that they may have otherwise needed to get by. Nearly 1 in 4 of your employees are using payday loans on a regular basis. Avoiding those unnecessary costs can help workers get out of debt.
Homeownership is a big dream for many families, but saving up a 20% down payment can be a huge challenge. Employers can offer a combination of tools and information that could make it easier to save and get through the home buying process.
One way to encourage saving that your employees may already have through your payroll service is a split direct deposit. Putting a percentage or a fixed amount from every paycheck into a savings account can be automated, which encourages saving.
Both in-state and private colleges can be prohibitively expensive, but employers may be able to help. Employee benefits to help with college can include tuition assistance or reimbursement, a relationship with a 529 college savings account provider, or contributions to workers’ college savings accounts through independent programs.
For example, California’s ScholarShare 529 plan features a Workplace Savings Program to help employees save at no additional cost to the employer. Gradifi, a part of brokerage Morgan Stanley, enables employers to contribute to employees’ student loans or 529 savings plans. These are just a few examples of programs that you can use to help employees and their families reach higher education goals.
Credit scores are based on a collection of credit and borrowing data. While employers likely can’t do anything to increase employee credit scores directly, they can offer resources that make it easier to do independently.
For example, employees who use PayActiv have access to a full financial wellness platform, which includes financial counseling, bill pay, and financial literacy resources that can put anyone on track for an excellent credit score.
Earned wage access can help here as well. Getting access to earned wages to make on-time credit related payments is an important tool to help workers build a positive credit history.
The ultimate financial goal for most Americans is retirement. To maintain the same lifestyle and quality of living in retirement, most people will need to save at least 15% of their income for their golden years. Employers often play a big role in helping employees save and invest for retirement.
While most businesses have moved away from defined benefit (pension) plans, employer-sponsored 401(k) plans motivate employees to save for retirement and commonly feature an employer match. With matching contributions, employers increase the power of every dollar saved.
Employees don’t leave their stresses in the parking lot when they get to work. Troubles at home, including financial stress, can bleed into work performance and drag down their physical and mental health.
Helping employees turn around challenging financial situations and make progress on financial goals can improve employee engagement and loyalty while alleviating their financial burdens. That can lead to a better quality of life and improved production at work.
Investing in your employees often comes with a cost, but those costs can pay dividends for your company and your workers. With much to gain and little to lose, consider taking steps to help your employees reach their financial goals today and for years to come.
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