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Best practices in developing a financial well-being strategic plan

How to use this playbook

Financial well-being is an important part of any organization’s well-being strategy. However, not every organization has the bandwidth to research best practices, develop resources and implement their own strategy. That’s why we created this playbook. 

The Financial Well-being Playbook is a self-service tool. You’ll find tips for developing a business case for your program, followed by a four-step process to put it into action. We want you to be successful in this endeavor. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your MMA service team as we’d be happy to get you to your next best step.

Define your financial well-being philosophy

Financial well-being is about creating habits with money that support current needs and long-term financial goals like retirement. Use the prompts below to identify why, what, and how to build a strategy that supports the organization’s business priorities. In addition, consider which team member will manage the program in your company.

Why focus on financial well-being?

Financial well-being, or lack thereof, affects all of us; if an employee is stressed about their finances, it can have an impact on their job performance. Successful programs need leadership buy-in and ongoing support. Illustrating this need against the backdrop of your company, employees, and culture is the first step in this journey. Create a value proposition for a financial well-being program by understanding the state of employees’ financial well-being across the board, in your sector and in your own company.

Providing employees with financial education and support positively affects absenteeism, presenteeism, productivity, employee satisfaction and helps employees maximize the benefit programs employers work hard to provide. In addition, it aids in talent attraction and retention. Employers can achieve an average ROI of $3 for every $1 invested in a financial well-being program.* Enrich Financial Wellness published a report on how you can calculate the ROI for employee financial well-being; and includes examples of how to build a successful program.** 

Potential strategy drivers

Developing the business case for financial well-being

The PwC 8th Annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey takes a look at the impact of finances on workers:

  • Workers are 5x more likely to be distracted by their finances at work 
  • 53% of workers are stressed about their finances 
  • 1/3 of employees have savings to cover 6 months of expenses
  • 61% of pre-retirees and 47% of retirees feel unprepared

Employee health impacts

  • Poor physical health
  • Delayed healthcare
  • Poor mental health 
  • Unhealthy coping behaviors

What opportunities exist to support the financial well-being of employees?

Potential opportunities

  • Provide a company-sponsored retirement plan that includes an employer contribution. Most retirement plan providers now offer some level of additional general financial education.
  • Monitor your retirement plan engagement rates to understand utilization. Work to increase engagement. 
  • Use financial education resources offered by your current insurance carrier(s), Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, and any other financial institutions that partner with your company, such as a bank or credit union.
  • Develop a salary banded benefits contribution strategy to link health care costs to pay.
  • Address poverty in the workplace and provide resources to employees to assist in meeting basic needs.
  • Consider the cost of living in your area and adjust wages to meet those demands.
  • Engage a third-party vendor to provide a robust financial well-being program.

How will financial well-being be improved?

Potential tactics to improve financial well-being

  • Choose to develop a multi-tier approach that addresses holistic financial well-being, or alternatively, focus on a single issue like budgeting, debt reduction, emergency savings, student loan repayment, or minimizing loans taken from the 401(k) plan.
  • Provide group or individual financial education on financial well-being topics as well as retirement savings. 
  • Provide access to Certified Financial Planners and financial coaches for individual support.
  • Combine separate resources to create your own unique program or outsource the program to a third-party service provider(s). 
  • Engage with providers that have services that cover all areas of financial well-being, including retirement, or providers that focus on one single area like student loans. 
  • Review and evaluate employee wages and benefit costs at least every other year, and annually if possible.

Additional considerations

  • What is the program budget? Are you willing to allocate budget dollars to provide this benefit?
  • Will the program be 100% company sponsored, a split with the employee, or will it provide access, but the employee pays for services? 
  • Who will manage the program within your company to ensure its success?

If you’re still stuck, reach out to your MMA service team for help creating a plan based on your situation, goals and budget. 

Financial well-being playbook steps

Financial well-being playbook contributors

Please contact Ashley Ritter or Sarah Shanahan with questions about the physical well-being playbook.
  • Jim Hageney
  • Nate Rasmussen
  • Rob Kelley
  • Bob Gibson
  • Jennifer Conklin