EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial Finesse, the innovator of workplace financial wellness programs, today released their 2019 Financial Wellness Year in Review (YIR) study highlighting the current state of financial wellness in America. At the time of this study, America is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, in addition to the annual analysis the report historically provides, Financial Finesse used this opportunity to share best practices for employers looking to effectively deploy financial wellness resources and help their employees navigate the financial implications of COVID-19.
For the 2019 YIR study, Financial Finesse evaluated how engagement type—online, group, and individual—influences change in financial wellness. The study revealed employees that followed the best practice model and engaged in all three channels of learning:
- Improved their financial wellness score on average 1.44 points, outperforming group learners by 31% and online-only learners by 83%.
- Had a 43% higher retirement plan deferral rate and an 81% higher annual contribution to a health savings or flexible spending account than employees that engaged exclusively online.
- Recorded a 29-point drop in the percentage that have high or overwhelming levels of financial stress, from 70% to 41%.
"These results are astounding," said Financial Finesse Founder and CEO, Liz Davidson. "What is even more remarkable is the speed of improvement. Employees with poor financial health exhibited significant improvement within three years of engagement." Davidson adds, "The good news for employers is, while we're seeing signs of increased financial stress in the wake of COVID-19, the best practice model yields the greatest improvement for the most financially stressed employees in the least amount of time. These results could not have come at a more critical moment in history."
The 2019 YIR study also revealed that while the financial health of the average American worker remained steady over the past three years, the percentage who reported struggling with debt, lacking investment confidence, and having an unmanageable level of financial stress was already on the rise even before COVID-19 hit. Given the strong correlation between financial stress and employment costs, the YIR study explains why and how employers should focus their COVID-19 relief efforts on providing targeted support to their most financially stressed employees.
"Not only should employers offer financial wellness benefits because it's the right thing to do," says Greg Ward, Director of the Financial Wellness Think Tank and co-author of the study, "but because employment costs also drop significantly when financial wellness levels rise." He notes, "at a time when every single dollar matters more than ever to both employers and employees, focusing on financially stressed employees who show the most improvement in the least amount of time is mission critical for both parties to endure this pandemic." To successfully target this population with the critical resources, in the right way at the right time, Ward recommends using a workforce financial wellness assessment which identifies segments of the population who are suffering the most and highlights their most significant financial needs.
To help employers address the financial challenges facing their workforce, Financial Finesse launched www.financialfinesse.com/getaccess to the public at no cost. This site contains a suite of COVID-19 resources designed to help anyone in financial crisis, out of work, or simply looking to be more financially prepared for the days ahead.
For more information:
Download the COVID-19 best practices abstract "The Impact of a New Normal" here.
Download Q&A with Financial Finesse CEO, Liz Davidson that highlights significant takeaways from both the Year in Review study and the COVID-19 abstract here.
Download the entire 2019 Year in Review research study here.
Register for the May 12th live discussion of the YIR report with Financial Finesse CEO, Liz Davidson and co-author of the report, Greg Ward, CFP® here.
Greg Ward, CFP®, Financial Wellness Think Tank™ Director
ABOUT FINANCIAL FINESSE:
Founded in 1999, Financial Finesse is the largest independent provider of unbiased workplace Financial Wellness programs. All services are designed by unbiased Certified Financial Planner™ professionals who do not sell any financial products nor manage assets and delivered as completely subsidized employee benefits. www.financialfinesse.com
SOURCE Financial Finesse