Standard Life research: Employers feel responsible for employees’ financial security

Eight in ten (80%) employers feel responsible for their employees’ financial security, with nearly a quarter (22%) feeling primarily responsible.†

According to Standard Life’s Insights into Financial Responsibility (IFR) report, 65% of employers believe employee communication has improved over the past five years. However, almost the same number of employees (64%) felt that either nothing has changed or the situation has deteriorated.

When asked about support with financial planning, three-quarters of employees (75%) stated they would value more help from their employer. Two-thirds of employers (64%) said they thought offering help through financial planning would make them more attractive to potential new employees.

Additional findings include 56% of employers think the role of providing support and security to employees is more important than it was five years ago.

The report, which defines how financial behaviours are changing in the relationship between employers and employees, is set against the context of recent financial volatility and forthcoming pension legislation change.

Developed in partnership with occupational psychologist Emily Hutchinson, the IFR report addresses the issues of financial planning, employee communication and financial responsibility. It is based on a survey of 250 employers and over 1,000 employees within the UK’s largest organisations.

Gerry O’Neill, managing director, corporate solutions at Standard Life, said: “The Insights into Financial Responsibility provides new and meaningful insight into the employer-employee relationship and its influence on financial behaviour.

“What is clear is that since the downturn, employers feel more responsible for their employees’ financial security and employees in turn are looking to their employers for help with financial planning.

“Interestingly, employers seem to think they are doing a good job when it comes to communicating with staff. This is not the view of many employees and shows that more needs to be done to increase volume and improve quality of communication, in particular around financial issues and the benefits available.

“Against the backdrop of a reduction in government support and the closure of final salary schemes, it is critical that employers take on a new active role in helping their staff plan for the future.”

Hutchinson added: “The Insights into Financial Responsibility reveals that although it is recognised that the individual is primarily responsible for their financial security, they would happily benefit from help in planning and securing that.

However 90% of both employers and employees feel there is a role that the employer should take in supporting individuals to secure their financial future. This is a fascinating insight into the pressures and expectations felt by both sides of the debate.”

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