Employers, take note. Your employees are stressed and distracted by their finances, and it’s affecting their jobs.
According to the March 2015 State Street Global Advisors Biannual DC Investor Survey report, more than 3 in 5 defined contribution plan participants experience a moderate to high level of financial stress.
And, according to the survey, as many as 4 in 10 participants across income levels say financial stress has caused their productivity at work to suffer. On average, survey respondents report spending five hours of work time each month dealing with their personal finances.
State Street Global Advisors released the findings of its March 2015 SSgA Biannual DC Investor Survey at a press briefing in New York on Wednesday.
“Our data says 61% of participants are moderately to severely stressed about their financial situation … and, what we’re seeing, and this is really interesting, this is not specific to lower-income employees or employees who are younger,” said Megan Yost, a vice president and head of participant engagement within State Street Global Advisors’ defined contribution team. “It’s across all income levels, all asset savings levels.”
The DC Investor Survey, conducted in January, was a 20-minute Internet survey using a panel of 1,009 verified 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and profit-sharing plan participants, ages 20 to 69, who were working at least part time.
The report suggests that employers should take a more holistic, financial wellness-based approach to their employees’ retirement planning and saving.
Because, perhaps surprisingly, the survey found that saving for retirement was not causing participants the most stress.
“What’s interesting is that the top stressors are health care expenses, mortgage debt, and then retirement,” Yost said. “So, as an industry, we’ve been really focused on retirement for a long time – educating about retirement, making better awareness of retirement benefits – but what this is showing us is there is really a more holistic conversation that needs to happen with employers.”