4 Ways to Pay for a Financial Wellness Program

A post it note with a lightbulb drawn on it posted on a bulletin board.

The need for a financial wellness program is well documented. But we often hear hear from employers that it’s hard to pay for financial wellness.

In some cases, financial wellness programs can pay for themselves. But employers still struggle to find money in the budget to implement it.

Below, we’ve broken down ways to pay for a financial wellness program.


The easiest way to pay for a new financial wellness program is your wellness budget. Depending on the cost, paying for it directly from the budget may make the most sense.

Some organizations have wellness and benefits budgets allocated long before the year begins. Then, HR can use their discretion to allocate these funds.

The ROI may take time to manifest. But the sooner you can implement a program, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.

ERISA Budget Account

While retirement plans are all different, one thing they may share in common is an ERISA budget account.

An ERISA budget account is a separate budget. It can help pay for ongoing education and wellness initiatives.

After the retirement plan has deducted its costs, a portion of the remaining funds may be put into an ERISA account.

These remaining fees can be used by the employer. They can cover a range of costs like legal fees or programs that directly benefit its participants. Financial wellness programs may fit this criteria.

Talk to your plan provider to see if they have an ERISA account. Then ask if you can use them for third party financial wellness programs.

Health and Wellness Services

Similar to additional funds allocated in a retirement plan in an ERISA account, your current health insurance and wellness provider may have a budget set aside for third-party wellness initiatives.

Financial wellness programs are able to reduce employee stress and boost employee happiness, which means they may fall under the umbrella of being able to be a relevant expense as part of a wellness budget.

If your current healthcare plan has an education and training budget that can be used to help employees lower their healthcare costs or boost their overall mental wellbeing, a financial wellness program may fall under the list of approved programs you can use your budget for.

Learning and Continued Education Budget

Finally, your organization may already have a budget in place for continued education for its employees. If you work at a large organization, you may have a Chief Learning Officer on staff whom you can talk to about continued learning opportunities for your department or for the organization as a whole.

Businesses allocate money to continued education for their employees to boost employee retention and to attract better candidates over time. Talk to your CLO about the opportunity for a financial wellness program.

Paying for a financial wellness program is often the biggest bottleneck employers face when trying to introduce a new program. But if you are able to justify the cost by showing that employees who are engaged with their personal finances and less stressed about them can save organizations up to $3 for every $1 invested, you may have an easier time justifying the cost to the organization.

Additionally, you may already be paying for continued educational opportunities for your employees and not be aware of it.

Talk to your health and financial program providers about additional budgets you can use to help pay for a financial wellness program.

If we missed anything, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.


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