Financial stressors including stubbornly high inflation and historic levels of credit card debt continue to impact workers across a wide range of income brackets. Twenty-eight percent of full-time employees often or always run out of money between paychecks, as do 15% of those who earn $100,000 or more per year, according to PwC’s 2023 Employee Financial Wellness survey. And among workers who carry balances on their credit cards, 44% say they struggle to make their monthly minimum payments on time.
PwC’s online survey of 3,638 full-time U.S. employees found that 44% of financially stressed workers admit their struggles have been a distraction while at work, and 36% are actively looking to change jobs (versus 18% of their non-stressed counterparts). Moreover, nearly three in four employees say they would like assistance with their personal finances. Fortunately, stigma over financial difficulties appears to be somewhat less of an obstacle for receiving help — with only one-third expressing embarrassment about asking for the advice they need, down from 42% in 2019.
Professional retirement planning assistance in particular has become a key focus for employees in terms of benefits considerations. More than half of workers identify it as a high priority, marking a 5% increase from the previous year, and one-fourth rank it as the No. 1 benefit they sought from their employee, according to Morgan Stanley’s State of the Workplace III: Financial Benefits Study. The research also revealed that 92% of employees consider help with retirement planning a priority in their job selection. Nonetheless, one out of every four human resource (HR) leaders surveyed report their company is reducing employee financial benefits to cut costs. This despite the fact that 97% of the same HR professionals say they believe their companies need to do an even better job providing resources to maximize financial benefits.
As financial pressures continue to significantly impact work and personal life for many Americans well into 2023, employers who offer professional financial planning assistance may gain an advantage in the competitive labor market and reap the rewards of a healthier, more productive and happier workforce. By providing personalized financial benefits and resources that address workers’ unique needs, organizations can create a culture of financial stability and empowerment, and help foster a mutually beneficial relationship where employees feel supported — and employers thrive in their business objectives.