Something is lacking in employer financial wellness programs. Even though an increasing number of employers are offering these programs and employees express a desire for them, employee participation rates are low.
A recent survey of roughly 667 employers who offered 401(k) plans and 657 employees who contributed to a 401(k) plan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that less than one-third of employees participated in financial wellness programs.
The problem: a disconnect between what employees want from these programs and what employers provide.
According to the survey, which was conducted by Boston Research Technologies, employees desire financial freedom, a focus on the single next thing to do, taking one step at a time, and saving and investing for the future (including retirement).
Employers are more focused on the current circumstances of their employees — their employee finances and budgeting, understanding of the benefits that the employer provides, including health care coverage, and the impact of those benefits on employees’ personal finances.