Bank of America Study Finds 84% of Employers Now Say Offering Financial Wellness Tools Helps Increase Employee Retention

97% of employers feel responsible for employee financial wellness, with 91% seeing higher employee satisfaction when offering resources to manage overall wellbeing

Bank of America announced findings from its 12th annual Workplace Benefits Report, “Navigating a New Era of Financial Wellness.” The report revealed that 84% of employers now say that offering financial wellness tools can help reduce employee attrition, and 81% say wellness tools help attract higher quality employees. This is critical to employers, as 46% have seen an increase in resignations over the past year. In addition, approximately one in three employees have switched jobs or thought about switching jobs in the past year.

The report also explored the impact of the current economic and inflationary environment on employees’ financial wellness, revealing that 62% of employees are stressed about their finances. In addition, 80% of employees are concerned about inflation, and 71% feel the cost of living is outpacing growth in their salary or wages. This is having an impact on employees overall feeling of financial wellness. After the percentage of employees who feel financially well bounced above pre-pandemic levels in February 2022 (57% vs. 55% in 2019), the percentage dropped to a 5-year low of 44% in July 2022.

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“Offering comprehensive benefits and wellness programs can be critical for employers looking to reduce attrition, can empower employees to take control of their personal finances, and improve employee satisfaction,” said Lorna Sabbia, Head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America. “We are committed to partnering with employers to provide financial wellness solutions through a holistic and integrated approach that’s actionable for every employee.”

Based on a nationwide survey of 824 employees and 846 employers conducted in February, and a second survey of 478 employees conducted in July, the Workplace Benefits Report examines trends related to workplace financial benefits and wellness programs.

Employers are embracing financial wellness programs and expanding support

In response to increased stress about financial wellness, employers continue to embrace programs to expand support for their employees. For example, 91% of employers see higher employee satisfaction when they offer resources to manage overall wellbeing. Other top employer findings include:

  • Employers feel an increased sense of responsibility for the financial wellness of employees. 97% of employers feel responsible for employee financial wellness (up from 95% in 2021, and from 41% in 2013) – with two-thirds (62%) going as far to say they feel extremely responsible (up from 56% in 2021). Employees agree with this sentiment, as 82% say employers should play a role in supporting their financial wellness.
  • Wellness programs result in tangible benefits for employers and employees. 80% of employers agree that offering financial wellness support can result in more satisfied, loyal, engaged and productive employees. Employers who take it a step further and broaden their wellness programs to include mental and physical wellness resources are seeing noticeable improvements in productivity (50%), employee stress (43%), employee morale (41%) and employee creativity and innovation (36%).

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  • Equity grants are powerful recruitment and retention incentives. 76% of employers believe equity compensation is a differentiator for employee recruitment and retention, and 44% of employees who participate in equity compensation plans say it was an important reason for accepting the job.
  • Health care remains an opportunity. 84% of employers feel very responsible for their employees’ understanding of retirement healthcare needs and costs, and 89% of employers who offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) contribute to their employees’ savings. Healthcare education is an opportunity, with only 54% of employers communicating about these topics at least once a year.
  • Access to investment advice. With four-in-ten employees saying they want access to advice from an investment professional, 62% of employers are now offering employees access to investment advice services (up from 55% in 2021).
  • Heightened focus on D&I programs. 74% of employers believe that diversity and inclusion programs are important for retaining talent, and half (50%) of employers currently offer diversity and inclusion programs.

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