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Financial Wellness Increasingly Included in Well-Being Programs

In general, employers are looking to their advisers to help them design and measure programs that are implemented by their well-being providers and/or recordkeeper, Fidelity says.

By Rebecca Moore editors@strategic-i.com | April 11, 2017

A growing percentage of companies are expanding their well-being programs to include employee financial security, according to the 8th annual survey on corporate Health and Well-being from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.

The survey reveals 84% of companies now have financial security programs, such as access to debt management tools or student loan counseling, in their well-being strategies, an increase from 76% last year. Financial security programs are the third most-popular offering, following physical well-being programs (95%) and emotional health programs (87%).

The most popular financial security programs are seminars and “lunch-n-learn” programs, with 82% of employers expected to offer these in 2017. Nearly three-fourths (74%) will offer access to tools to support key financial decisions including mortgages, wills and income protection. Another 71% expect to offer tools and resources to support emergency savings, debt management and budgeting. One-quarter of employers plan to offer student loan counseling or repayment assistance.

“As these programs evolve, employers are embracing a broader definition of well-being to increase participation and engagement among their workforce,” says Adam Stavisky, senior vice president, Fidelity Benefits Consulting. “Today’s programs take more of a ‘health meets wealth’ approach and reflect a blend of financial, physical, and social/emotional programs to provide maximum support for members.”

“The well-being market is still evolving—in general, employers are looking to their advisers to help them design and measure programs that are implemented by their well-being providers and/or recordkeepers,” Robert Kennedy, senior vice president, Fidelity Benefits Consulting, tells PLANADVISER.

The survey includes responses from 141 large and mid-sized organizations and was fielded online during November and December 2016 among National Business Group on Health members and clients of Fidelity Investments.