Despite making some progress in their financial situations over the past couple of years, employees still aren’t on track and they know it.
The third-quarter Trends in Employee Financial Issues report found that financial wellness has dropped as workers become “more aware of their financial shortcomings.”
Those shortcomings include saving for retirement. More than 40% of employees said they weren’t sure they’d be able to achieve future financial goals, up from 34% in the third quarter of 2012. The economy is troubling them, too. Forty-three percent said they were worried about the effect the economy would have on their financial future.
Overall wellness fell from 5.2, where it held steady for the first half of the year, to 4.9. A score between 3 and 4.9 indicates employees “may be sabotaging” themselves due to poor financial behaviors and lack of basic information. The percentage of workers who say their stress is overwhelming or very high increased to 19% from 13% last year.
Older workers were especially likely to be stressed. Eighty-four percent of workers 45 and older reported some level of stress, the report found. One explanation is that workers in that age bracket may be facing several realities that put significant strain on their finances: paying for education for children, caring for elderly parents, continuing to save for retirement or meeting growing health care expenses.
However, increased stress has led to more engagement for some employees. Almost 40% of workers say they’ve used a retirement calculator, and 90% are contributing to their workplace plan.