39% say financial struggles affect their performance at work

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More than a third (39%) of respondents say their financial struggles prevent them from performing at their best at work, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its 2015 global benefits attitudes study, which surveyed 29,629 employees in 19 countries, including 1,895 in the UK, also found that almost three-quarters (71%) of respondents believe they will be less well off than their parents’ generation in retirement.

The research also found:

  • 20% of respondents say their financial worries are negatively affecting their life, a quarter (25%) often worry about their level of debt and 37% often worry about their financial state.
  • 20% of respondents in their 30s are struggling with their finances.
  • 60% of respondents in their 50s are not worried about their immediate or long-term finances.
  • 39% of UK respondents expect their retirement savings to run out 15 years into retirement, and 55% think their retirement savings will be gone within 25 years.
  • Respondents in the UK expect to retire at an average age of 65.

Minh Tran, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Employees overwhelmingly anticipate less wealth in their retirement, compared to their parents’ generation. Younger employees are particularly concerned about their financial situation.

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“The immediate financial priorities facing employees in their 20s and 30s, including student debt, housing deposits and childcare costs, can make it difficult to prioritise long-term issues such as retirement savings.

“Our survey shows that financial worries can have a negative impact on employees’ personal and work life, and inevitably affect productivity, employee engagement and satisfaction. Employers can help their employees by offering flexibility and personal choice when it comes to tackling individual financial anxieties and priorities.”