The financial wellness of U.S. employees improved in 2016, according to the latest Year in Review from Financial Finesse, which provides financial education and planning at workplaces as part of employee benefit programs, but their overall score, at 5.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, was still a failing grade.
Underlying the improvement was an increasing number of employees using workplace financial wellness programs repeatedly, which raised their overall score to 5.9 and lowered levels of financial stress. They accounted for 29% of total users of financial wellness programs in 2016, almost double the 16% reported for 2015.
Repeat users reported, among other things, improvements in managing cash flow, rebalancing investment accounts to keep asset allocations on track and having an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: How Financial Wellness Drives Better Retirement and Tax Decisions)
Repeat users were also more likely to run a retirement projection which, according to Financial Finesse, “may be the single most important step employees can take to reach their financial goals.”
About four in 10 employees who ran such projections discovered they were underfunding their retirement savings and needed to make changes in the amount of money they save and how they invest. Sixty percent found they were on track in their retirement savings plans.