Nine in 10 say employers should support all aspects of staff financial wellbeing

Almost nine in 10 (88%) senior HR professional believe it is an employer’s responsibility to provide support on all aspects of staff financial wellbeing, according to research by Smarterly.

The research, published in December 2019, surveyed 250 HR professionals within organisations with 300 or more employees. It also found that almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents no longer feel that providing employees with a pension is enough when it comes to supporting their financial needs.

A fifth (20%) of respondents would like to offer a savings option in addition to pension contributions, with nine in 10 (90%) being open to the idea of allowing pension contributions in excess of auto-enrolment minimums to be paid into an accessible savings account. However, only 22% of organisations actually offer this kind of ‘sidecar savings’ arrangement. 

According to almost three-fifths (59%) of respondents, although pensions are still a priority, financial benefits should incorporate other elements to take into account the ever-changing needs of employees.

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Steve Watson, head of proposition at Smarterly, said: “Pensions continue to be a primary focus in the workplace when it comes to supporting the financial wellbeing of employees, but putting aside funds for retirement is not a priority for everyone. Many welcome more support on making savings for the short to medium term to help ease financial woes.

“Financial wellbeing is an important part of the employee benefit mix. Employees, young and old, need to be supported throughout their working lives, and a good financial wellbeing programme can provide this. It’ll take radical ideas such as this to really engage people with saving for their retirement.”