59% of staff rank financial wellbeing as most wanted support from employer

financial wellbeing employer supportThree-fifths (59%) of employees ranked financial wellbeing as the area where they want the most support from their employer over the next three years, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

The global advisory, broking and solutions firm surveyed 6,000 UK employees at medium and large private sector employers for its 2024 Global benefits attitudes survey. It found that only 24% of employers ranked financial wellbeing as a top priority for their wellbeing programme over the next three years.

The findings also highlighted that 45% of employees admitted they are not on the right track regarding their finances and 28% expect their financial situation to worsen over the next year. Moreover, 59% said money concerns are negatively impacting their overall wellbeing, causing stress and anxiety.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) workers aged 50 and higher said they expect to work past age 70, compared to 27% two years ago and 31% prior to the pandemic. Additionally, 79% admitted to not saving as much for retirement as they should be, while 47% said they are on the right track to retirement.

A majority (89%) of employees have worries about paying for basic living costs, with four in 10 extremely worried about the costs they could face. The number of employees living payday to payday climbed from 36% in 2022 to 40% this year, while the number that said they were worse off financially compared with a year ago increased from 24% in 2019 to 40% this year.

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Helen Gilchrist, head of defined contribution consulting at WTW, said: “High inflation combined with the aftermath of a once in a generation pandemic is causing many employees to feel overwhelmed and discouraged about their financial situation, which is affecting overall wellbeing. Employers should take action to improve financial wellbeing within their organisation: adequate education for employees to help plan their resources and close financial gaps, as well as connecting employees with relevant elements of their total rewards package.

“Employer retirement programmes, and specifically defined contribution plans, remain the primary path for employees to save for retirement. Employers have an opportunity to align their focus with employee value, cost pressures, and talent objectives to address how their benefit programmes align to retirement and financial wellbeing initiatives.”