Financial Wellness in the Workplace

"There's no question that workplace wellness is worth it.  The only question is whether you're going to do it today or tomorrow.  If you keep saying you're going to do it tomorrow, you'll never do it.  You have to get on it today."

-Warren Buffet, Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

The Case for Financial Education at the Workplace

Waddell & Reed Financial Wellness Program

The Problem

  • Unprecedented debt and lack of savings among Americans does not just affect lower paid employees.  Those who make good money but do not manage it well are no better off than those who earn lower wages.
  • CFED's (Corporation for Enterprise Development) 2005 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard show that one in four U.S. households does not own enough to support itself, even at the poverty line, for three months.
  • Financial problems lead to lower productivity and lower morale for employees.  Many see their employer as the cause of their financial problems-they "don't get paid enough."
  • 15-20% of employees have financial problems sever enough to affect productivity (Kansas City Federal Reserve)
  • A financially stressed employee spends an average of 20 hours per month of work time on his/her financial problems (Kansas City Federal Reserve)

Potential Solutions

  • Financial Literacy is a national priority.  In 2008, President Bush signed an Executive Order that established the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.
  • Federal Reserve chairman Ben Benanke said, "I am personally convinced that improving education is vital to the future of our economy and all its citzens, and I strongly believe that promoting financial literacy, in particular, must be a high priority.
  • Awarness, education, and behavior change through classes, personalized financial plans, and ongoing counseling lead to hope when employees discover they can meet their goals.
  • The Waddell & Reed Financial Wellness Program provides classes and 1:1 meetings with employees, creating a personalized financial plan for every participant.  Employees are encouraged to bring their spouses to the training and are required to bring them to the 1:1 meetings.

The Potential Benefits                       

The Waddell & Reed Financial Wellness Program attempts to foster goodwill and provides tangible benfit for employees and employers.

  • Increased participation in the company retirement plan
  • Enhanced company culture
  • Potential reduction in employee turnover thereby reducing the costs associated with turnover
  • Reduce absenteeism-direct correlation between absenteesim and financial instability.  Lower absenteeism can lead to higher productivity