Close Asset Management research: Most employers with a low take up of benefits do not offer financial education

Many employers (92%) that suffer from a low take up of benefits do not offer financial education to staff, according to research by Close Asset Management

The research, conducted among 2,000 employers in the UK, found that 83% of organisations that suffer from low uptake have not looked at how to rectify the situation.

Respondents cited pension and childcare benefits as being of most interest to staff. Almost three-quarters (71%) included pensions in their benefits package, followed by childcare (38%), the opportunity to earn a bonus (36%), flexitime (26%) and a company car (25%).

Of the employers with a low take up of benefits, almost half (47%) said it is an issue because staff would be more motivated if they made use of the benefits offered.

However fewer than one in 10 (8%) offer financial education, which according to Close Asset Management, could help better communicate the full value of benefits and give workers the chance to make more informed choices and improve their own financial planning.

Jeanette Makings, director of financial education services at Close Asset Management, said: “Employee benefits are one of the main tools people can use to improve their own financial planning, helping them to achieve their financial goals throughout their life and preparing them for financial security in retirement.

“Employers devote much time, budget and effort in delivering benefits packages for their employees, demonstrating their commitment to their people.

“With such a low level of uptake, and so few companies taking any action to improve this, staff and employers are missing out on a big opportunity. Financial education may provide the solution.

“With a tailored financial education programme, employees can be made aware of their benefits and the full impact that these can have on their own financial planning.

“Empowering employees in this way is both cost effective and an important step towards bridging the gap that exists between benefits being offered and those being used, to the advantage of both employers and their staff.”

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