Is Your Company a great place to work? inspire financial security through financial education

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1 Is Your Company a great place to work? inspire financial security through financial education

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS: Why Being a Great Place to Work Matters More Than Ever...1 Improved Financial Wellness Can Mean Improved Productivity Steps to a Successful Financial Education Program...4 A Program as Diverse as Your Employees...6 Your Checklist for Delivering an Effective Financial Education Program... 8

3 Why Being a Great Place to Work Matters More Than Ever Is your business a great place to work? Consider the potential benefits of achieving such a coveted reputation. Employees who strongly recommend their companies as great places to work are about four times more loyal than those who are less positive about their workplaces. 1 83% of employees who recommend their companies as great places to work say they are very loyal to their companies. 1 At a time when a third of employees are reporting they hope to work elsewhere in the next twelve months, 1 loyalty is an increasingly prized quality. This is especially relevant given the growing global talent shortage and that the estimated cost of employee turnover can range from % of an employee s annual salary. 2 Helping employees achieve financial security through a financial education program could be a significant step toward being a great place to work. One of the ways that employees who strongly recommend their companies differ from those who don t is that they appear to exhibit greater financial security. They are twice as likely to say they feel in control of their finances when compared with those who are not company advocates. 1 This sense of financial wellness can often be correlated with financial education. 1 In addition, employees who feel they work at a great place seem to receive more support from their employers. 1 1

4 Improved Financial Wellness Can Mean Improved Productivity 82% of employees report some level of financial stress which has been linked to health problems and contributes to increased health costs. 3 Fifty percent of employees are looking to their employers to help. 1 Healthy employees, including those with healthy finances, can mean fewer costly medical interventions, absences and distractions, which can translate into increased productivity. 1 Fostering employee financial wellness can reduce stressrelated illness and the loss of productivity that comes along with absenteeism and presenteeism. 1 Indeed, many employees who feel they work at a great place appear to be more productive as they are less likely to report distractions at work because of financial worries or declines in the quality of their work over the last twelve months. 1 Yet today, and for many American workers, a feeling of financial security is missing. Two-thirds lack a savings cushion of at least three months expenses for emergencies 4 and one-third report that they don t feel in control of their finances. 1 More than one-third of Americans report spending up to half the day handling or worrying about personal financial matters. 5 Budgeting, credit management and saving for the future are positive financial habits that can be developed. But many people lack this necessary knowledge and inclination. This situation, together with deepening pessimism about having enough retirement income, 6 shows that many employees need help in order to feel financially secure. So, how can you, as an employer, nurture the financial wellness of your employees? One solution is to offer financial education through the workplace. A comprehensive financial education program is one that includes on-site workshops, complemented by access to one-on-one guidance from a financial professional. Such a program can be both convenient and flexible, making participation more likely. Consider that one-third of respondents to a recent survey admitted that financial issues have been a distraction at work. 7 2

5 In addition, many employees (30 80%) spend hours per month on personal financial matters leading to an average cost to employers of $7,000 per employee per year. 8 It stands to reason that the results of a financial education program may be improved loyalty and increased productivity due to alleviated stress about financial concerns. Because money worries hinder job performance, 9 providing employees with this type of support for improved financial wellness can have advantages for your company by helping to drive up productivity while driving down health care costs. 10 There is also the added advantage that a financial education program can create a more seamless connection between employees personal financial plans and the benefits package received at work. Providing a financial education program through the workplace can also lead to employers spending less of their resources on healthcare costs. 1 Research has proven that fostering the financial wellness of employees can have a positive impact on an organization s business goals.the number of companies offering wellness programs continues to grow as research data shows that wellness is effective in improving employee health. 1 Fifty-nine percent of employers say that offering wellness programs to motivate healthy employee behaviors is a very important benefits strategy. 1 By offering resources at little or no cost, such as onsite financial workshops and the personalized guidance of financial professionals, employers can advance financial wellness, encourage employee appreciation for the value of their benefits and drive increased productivity through a more loyal workforce. The Benefits of Financial Education in the Workplace 9 For Employers Higher productivity Lower absenteeism Lower turnover Lower health care costs Increased profits For Employees Increased financial well-being Better health Adequate retirement preparation Gains in job performance 3

6 4 Steps to a Successful Financial Education Program Introducing or strengthening a financial education program for employees can be surprisingly inexpensive and easy. As your company builds and maintains its reputation as a great place to work, position yourself for success with established best practices. Start with these four steps: Step One: Commitment from the Top Visible support from company leadership is a key element of any successful financial education program. Senior management endorsement through words and actions can encourage employee involvement. For example, providing time off during the work day to participate in a financial education workshop is an excellent way to show that the company is committed to helping employees become more informed so they can make financial decisions. What s more, it s important that financial education become ingrained in the culture of the company. Successful financial education programs are ongoing. 72% of employees are interested in their employers providing programs to help them make decisions about their financial needs. 4 Step Two: Educational Workshops that Meet Employees Diverse Needs The benefits of learning in a group are well documented. One size does not fit all when it comes to financial education, so it s important that a program provide a range of topics. As today s workforce grows increasingly diverse, so do individual financial needs, concerns and expectations. And although all ages value help in planning for retirement, cultural and age preferences may make for varied financial attitudes and behaviors. It s important that the topics offered through a financial education program recognize and address the demographics of your employee population. 4

7 Step Three: Opportunities to Take Action on Workshop Learning Group workshops provide valuable information, but they cannot address individual situations. Nor would employees want to share personal information in a group setting. Providing postworkshop opportunities is important. Whether an employee has a simple question or is in need of more comprehensive solution, opportunities for in-person meetings with a financial professional to discuss individual circumstances is a valuable follow-up to a workshop experience. In fact, 56% of employees are interested in their employers providing an employer-sponsored financial professional as a resource. 4 Step Four: Encourage Participation with a Strong Communications Program & Incentives Effective communications are critical to driving participation. Employees need help understanding the value of, and how they can benefit from, the program. This requires promoting a financial education program internally in a way that demonstrates the connection between achieving financial control and an individual s long-term objectives. It should also tie in the value and how to take advantage of their employee benefits. A financial education program that covers a range of topics and delivered by experienced financial professionals may result in employees having a greater appreciation for the relevance and usefulness of their benefits at work. 1 Further, using a variety of communication methods and enrollment vehicles can help make it easy for employees to take the first step and get started. To make the program even more attractive, add incentives tied to your employee wellness program, such as points earned for workshops attended. Reiterating messages and tying them, where appropriate, to other wellness initiatives further demonstrate an employer s commitment to the financial health of employees. 5

8 Employees who participated in a financial education program through work in the last two years are more likely to say that they feel loyal to their employers. 4 A Program as Diverse as Your Employees A well-rounded financial education program has its foundation in retirement planning, but it also needs to include other financial topics that are specific to employees life stages. Employees have distinct and different situations that require specific solutions and information. Recognizing diverse employee needs will help to determine which programs may be the right fit. For example, consider the following employee situations where financial advice and guidance in the form of workshops or contact with a skilled financial professional could be very beneficial. These needs are likely to exist in many companies. 6

9 Employees Who Need Help with Retirement Planning Given the lack of retirement preparation by many American workers, retirement planning workshops should be a given. Employees need to understand that retirement planning is much more complicated today and requires more than contributing to a 401(k) or similar plan. And no matter the ages, backgrounds or life stages of employees, retirement planning should be the cornerstone of an individual s overall financial picture. It s important to take a holistic approach to an individual s entire situation, including, but not limited to, goal setting, developing a savings plan, implementing tax efficient strategies, understanding investment options and estate planning. Employees Who Currently Lack Basic Financial Literacy Many schools don t teach enough about managing money and some don t teach it at all. What s more, many parents aren t comfortable talking with their children about money. As a result, some employees may lack basic money management skills. They need help learning to spend smarter, establish a budget and set realistic financial goals. Basic financial literacy workshops can be eye-opening for them and a critical first step toward building financial wellness. Employees Who Act as Family Caregivers Caregivers of aging parents or family members with special needs are often juggling demands on their time and finances. For working caregivers, this may impact their productivity at the workplace. Employees facing these situations often welcome advice and guidance regarding sources of support, as well as planning for the future care and funding of the loved one after the caregiver is gone. Advice and guidance for caregivers can help provide peace of mind, as well as minimize time away from work. Women Employees More women are concerned about their retirements, including outliving their savings, than men. 1 Workshops targeted to women can be welcome, and the convenience of participating or meeting with financial professionals in the workplace can more easily fit with their demanding schedules. Executives and Highly Compensated Employees Having a high income does not preclude financial concern; high earners may be as worried as other workers about their personal financial risks. In fact, only 45% of executives and highly compensated employees would describe themselves as being in control of their finances. 3 Providing convenient and customized solutions and services that address their financial needs is one way employers can foster loyalty and demonstrate commitment. Employees Experiencing Life-Changing Events Events, such as a divorce, a death in the family or change in employment status, are often accompanied by the need to make important financial decisions at particularly stressful times. In addition, such events may also require rethinking company benefit elections. These employees may greatly benefit from having access to specially trained financial professionals and may appreciate valuable support while working through important life events. Employees with Special Needs Dependents Many employees are faced with special needs situations in their families and may not understand all the planning issues or where to get help. Workshops that provide legal and financial information can help such employees secure a lifetime of care, quality of life and financial well-being for dependents with special needs. 7

10 Your Checklist for Delivering an Effective Financial Education Program Part of being a great place to work entails offering an effective financial education program for employees. Doing so demonstrates that they are valued while helping to drive employee satisfaction, loyalty, retention and productivity. As a great place to work, an effective financial education program is one that: X Can be delivered effectively and within your budget. Look for programs that provide the services at no cost to employees; some programs may come at no cost to the company, too. X Is available nationally. A nationally organized program is more likely to provide a more consistent experience regardless of location an important consideration for companies with multiple geographies. X Is developed and delivered by well-credentialed local financial professionals and organizers. Ensure that the people delivering the programs are experienced and can provide financial guidance. Local financial professionals who can address the unique needs of your employees can be a critical resource, especially in times of transition, such as reorganization or early retirement offerings. X Offers employees access to a broad range of turnkey educational solutions that are easy to implement and well designed. Take advantage of programs that address a broad range of financial topics; this approach can help meet diverse employee needs. It can also help to minimize the time and effort on the part of company organizers. 1 11th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, HR.com, March, Financial Finesse 2012 Research Year in Review 4 10th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, April, Retirement Confidence Survey, EBRI 7 Society of Human Resources Management, January, 24, Generations Federal Credit Union, The Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF ), Financial Education: An Essential Component of Y our Wellness Strategy, MetLife, 2012, MetLife.com 8

11

12 Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this document is not intended to (and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This communication is intended to support the sale of MetLife insurance and annuity products. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY Securities products and investment advisor services offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI)(member FINRA/SIPC) Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, a registered investment advisor. MLIC and MSI are MetLife companies. Securities products and investment advisor services offered by New England Securities Corp. (NES)(member FINRA/SIPC) Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, a registered investment advisor. NES is a MetLife company. MetLife does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney for such guidance. New England Life Insurance Company A MetLife Company Boston, MA New England Securities Corp. A MetLife Company (member FINRA/SIPC) 1095 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY Metropolitan Life Insurance Company New York, NY MetLife Securities, Inc. (member FINRA/SIPC) 1095 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY METLIFE, INC. L [exp0814][All States][DC] PEANUTS 2013 Peanuts Worldwide

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