EXCLUSIVE: 37% of employers provide financial education to all employees

EXCLUSIVE: The proportion of organisations that provide financial education for all employees has changed little since the research was conducted in 2018, going from 36% to 37% this year, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits/Wealth at Work Pensions research 2019, which was conducted during October 2019 among 135 HR decision makers, also found that, except for a dip to 28% in 2016, this response has maintained a steady overall rise over the past four years. Promisingly, the second and third top answers are that organisations are considering (29%) or indeed actively planning (15%) a financial education strategy, rather than stating that they have no plans to introduce a programme (12%).

Among the 45% of respondents that currently offer a financial education programme to either some or all staff, the most popular method of doing so continues to be via face-to-face seminars (70%). Despite the ever-increasing speed of technological advancements that allow employees to receive information remotely and digitally, this is an increase of eight percentage points since last year, and a considerable improvement on the 51% that provided education in person in 2015.

Taking second spot this year is the use of online tools and modellers (48%), which perhaps reflects the advancements making these options increasingly helpful and effective, having increased from 43% in the past year, and from 41% in 2016.

Providing financial education to employees via information pages on an organisation’s intranet, however, has dropped by more than 10 percentage points,  from 57% in 2018 to 46% this year. This may well  be another sign that interactive online resources  are advancing to become a more viable resource than purely static web pages.

Employers should consider the use of face-to-face communications and education, arguably more likely to actively engage and reach staff, alongside those online modellers and tools that can provide  an employee with a tailored, personal experience that can be accessed at any time, so as to create  an effective engagement boost.

In 2018, the largest proportion of respondents (35%) dealt with financial education internally, closely followed by using their pension provider (33%). Although the two have swapped places as first and second on the list, pensions provider (35%) and in-house resources (30%) are still the most popular options. This shows quite substantial change in the longer term, as in 2015, only 19% of respondents relied on an external pension provider to implement a financial education scheme. The same can be said for delivering financial education internally, which, in 2015, was only selected by 17% of respondents, and since rocketing to 37% in 2016 has remained steadily popular.