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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

More than three quarters of employees want financial education at work

Some 76% of employees believe improved financial education at work would significantly help them cope with life issues like planning for retirement, according to research by Capita Employee Benefits.

Employees want financial education at work ©iStock
Employees want financial education at work ©iStock

It reveals that 20% think their work has been affected as a result of financial worries, while a third have lost sleep because of them – which is thought to be having a negative impact on business productivity.

Other benefits that employees believe they could receive as a result of financial education at their organisation include helping them to live within a budget, as well as managing and paying off existing debts.

“The case for financial education is compelling,” Capita Employee Benefits research and engagement manager, Gareth Davies, said. “A workforce that is more financially aware and educated, with less stress, can only be a good thing for an organisation.

“Better guidance and improved education will help ensure people are more effective as an employee versus someone who’s worrying about making sure they can afford the roof over their head, or putting dinner on the table each night.”

As part of this financial education, 73% of employees expect their employer to provide tailored, detailed guidance, on the work benefits they offer, and how appropriate each one might be to them.

Even the way this education is delivered is expected to be tailored to each employee, with a third of younger and middle-aged staff wanting access via a website.

This is only the fourth most popular choice for over 55 year-olds, with a third preferring to have one-to-one meetings with their line manager or HR department.

“A one-size-fits-all approach now looks severely outdated,” Capita Employee Benefits head of benefits strategy, Alex Tullett, said. “Employers need to know their staff, and their circumstances, better and this means that guidance also needs to become personal.

“Employees expect context, they want benefits to be relevant to their circumstances, and this means benefits need to be targeted to the end user, not just ‘catch-all’.

“Simply increasing the number of benefits to an employee’s reward package risks missing the point. Times have moved on and context and guidance have come to the foreground – it is how we present benefits to employees, how we explain them and why they’re important, this is what employees are demanding.”

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