Financial health is one of the biggest stressors in the American workplace today. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this issue, sending the world into unknown territory. Stocks tumbled, people panicked, and work from home became a new standard practice. For many people, personal financial wellness went out the window with every other plan we had for 2020. Financial stress and pandemic stress often went hand in hand, and the impact can still be felt today.
The workplace has changed dramatically, as well as the employees in it. Whether you kept your staff intact or you have new employees, now is the time to offer a financial wellness plan that fits their needs.
Finances can be a major distraction when it comes to productivity. Employees with high financial stress lose an average of 3.1 hours of productivity each week.* Even as more employees return to work, they may still carry the weight of the financial stress from the pandemic. For others, the pandemic provided an opportunity to spend less on unnecessary expenditures and get ahead on payments. Regardless of where employees stand, My Secure Advantage (MSA) offers individual financial coaching that can put them back in control.
Many employers were forced to lay off employees due to changes in the market. This led to many organizations reshaping the way that their companies operate, as well as employees reorganizing their lives in lockdown.
According to the Urban Institute, financial aid programs led to a record drop in poverty thanks to stimulus checks, increased food stamps, an end to evictions, and boosted unemployment packages. While these safety nets carried the country throughout the early days of the crisis, these programs have or are coming to an end.
As we enter the new normal, many employees want to reframe the way that they look at their finances. Those who benefited financially can begin to tackle debt or build savings toward retirement. Others who find themselves struggling due to a financial loss will want to consider ways to manage that loss of income. Financial wellness planning helps put each employee in control of their financial future.
To provide relief in response to the high levels of unemployment, the US Government suspended loan payments for federal student loans, also offering relief in the form of a 0% interest rate and stopping collections on defaulted loans. Many have taken advantage of this unique circumstance, paying off credit cards or other loans while this suspension has been in effect.
This reprieve offered millions of Americans an opportunity to get ahead on their loan payments, or at the very least stave off expensive payments. Individuals on Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness continue to earn credit as if they were paying regular monthly payments.
My Secure Advantage’s Money Coaches can provide key insights into loan payments – and other forms of debt – with consultations that can help people determine how to balance debt with other financial responsibilities.
Some employers were forced to lay off employees due to a steep decline in revenue. With many of these companies now in the recovery phase, team members both new and rehired may be struggling to rebuild their financial wellness. Loss of income can be devastating to employees and their families. MSA coaches are experienced in helping individuals learn how to adapt to a lean lifestyle and build a financial wellness plan that can help them return to an equilibrium.
While COVID-19 may have interrupted previous lifestyles, the housing market accelerated to a 12-year high. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of homeowners in the United States increased by around 2.1 million over the previous year. Part of this is related to foreclosure moratoriums that were put into place during the pandemic.
Whether your employees find themselves the proud owners of a new home or struggling to make payments on existing mortgages, a financial wellness plan can help them make informed decisions about home ownership.
Even as we adjust to the new “post-COVID normal”, many uncertainties still exist for employers and employees alike. According to the ASPPA, financial stress contributes to patterns of behavior that inhibit productivity and have negative effects on our physical as well as mental health. This can lead to more sick time, more absenteeism, and lower performance.
Financial wellness starts in the workplace. Making a plan to help your employees can significantly boost not only their efficiency but also their long-term financial outcomes.
* My Secure Advantage, Inc., January 2023. Based on MSA member self-reported data, when working with a coach on this specific issue, from 1/1/21 – 12/31/22.
When it comes to incorporating financial wellness in the workplace, most employers immediately think of debt management and retirement advice, and rightly so! They both can play a huge part in financial success. However, one potential aspect of ensuring financial peace of mind for your employees is incorporating an identity theft protection plan. The Cost […]
Providing timely benefits during a pandemic health crisis. The recent health crisis and market volatility have caused employers to rethink the employee experience surrounding financial wellness programs. During these unprecedented times, financially stressed employees are scrambling for answers. Whether it is increased costs from doctor visits or hospital stays, reduced pay, loss of income, or […]
Comparing the Average 401(k) Benefit and the MSA Financial Wellness Program Comparing apples and oranges reveals one similarity: they’re both fruit. Likewise, if you compare the 401(k) benefit with the MSA Financial Wellness program mentioned in this article, you will find one similarity: they’re both financial benefits. re·tire·ment pro·gram noun Also known as a 401(k) […]
Employee Benefit News (EBN) recently published a slideshow entitled the “8 benefit trends to watch for in 2016.” The first trend is financial wellness, and rightly so, considering that it can ensure success with all the other trends filtering through the workplace. Take a look at this year’s hot topics according to EBN, and why […]