The Power of Being Financially Fit

SUBJECT MATTER | Oct 9, 2017

When it comes to employee wellbeing, it’s about more than physical health. The latest trend in wellness encompasses the mind, body and wallet.

Just last year, more than 50% of employers introduced programs or initiatives to support employees’ financial wellbeing. Companies not only want their employees to be not only smart healthcare consumers, but also savvy savers. And by emphasizing financial wellness, employers could save money themselves. Here are a few ways to make financial wellness top of mind.

The Health Savings Account
One way to encourage employees to save is through a Health Savings Account, or HSA. Health Savings Accounts are rising in popularity in companies of all sizes. This account allows employees to save money for eligible medical expenses.

If your company’s having trouble enticing employees to try an HSA, be sure you’re communicating the triple tax advantages of these accounts:

  1. Tax-free contributions — from employees and from many employers
  2. Tax-free withdrawals for eligible expenses
  3. Tax-free investment earnings

Help employees understand how the HSA’s unique tax treatment — and the fact that the money is always theirs, whether they’re using it for current costs or treating it as another tax-advantaged retirement vehicle.

Retirement Plan
It’s never too early to start saving for the future. Informing employees about your company’s retirement plan and company match can get them on the right track to retirement. Here are three important points to any retirement plan communication:

  1. Explain how to max out the match, if offered. Offer examples of how much free money could be theirs — and how just that match could grow over 20, 30, or 40 years — to put the value of your contribution in real terms.
  2. Give them a guide. Retirement calculators and financial counselors from your retirement plan administrator can help employees determine how much they should be contributing to have the life they want down the road.
  3. Make it manageable. Can every employee max out their contributions each year? Probably not — especially if they’re just starting out and staring down student loans. But showing recent grads the power of compound interest can reinforce that small contributions now can have a big impact over the course of their careers.

Other Benefits and Programs
Income protection benefits such as life and disability insurance can give employees peace of mind. If your employees underutilize these benefits, encourage them to take a fresh look. And, if you automatically cover employees with a basic level of life and disability insurance or offer buy-up or enhanced coverage, make sure you tell them!

Paying for day care can strain a family’s budget, but a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) can help lessen the sting for families in most tax brackets. A DCFSA helps employees pay for eligible dependent care expenses with tax-free dollars. These expenses can cover things like day care centers and in-home care for a child or elderly parent. Talking about this benefit with your employees can show them that you care for not only their financial wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of their loved ones.

More companies are adding tuition reimbursement programs, which can help your workforce gain knowledge and skills while saving money on their education. (Even better? These programs can even lead to higher retention.)

And be sure you’re promoting the Employee Assistance Program as a financial education resource, too. Most programs are about so much more than mental health, offering advice for budgeting, personal legal matters or even buying a home.

Let’s Be Partners

If you’re ready to change how your people use their benefits, experience company culture and take actions that drive success at work and in life, we’re ready to help. Together, we can raise the bar on your employee communication and produce measurable results so that you can grow and thrive.

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