Rethinking Financial Wellness Education ROIs

Recordkeepers and employers are beginning to rethink their approach to financial wellness. Almost all employers say they offer financial wellness benefits of some kind.

But many employers face a hurdle. Defining a tangible ROI for a wellness program can be difficult.

Traditional financial wellness programs take an education-only approach. It’s hard to justify the cost when education alone can’t yield results.

For employers to maximize financial wellness efforts, education must work alongside other benefits.

Enrollment Rates

For many employers, the first metric they observe is retirement plan enrollment.

That’s because retirement plans have clear ROIs. Retirement plan enrollment can be linked to longer tenure and tax benefits.

It’s easy to see why it’s a popular starting place for employers measuring employees’ financial goals.

Other Financial Wellness Goals

Outside of retirement, there are other financial goals employers want to address.

These goals include financial literacy, productivity, and reducing employee stress. But they’re much harder to measure.

Employers are most receptive to wellness programs that can be tied to tangible ROIs.

Connecting the Dots

When employees only have access to education, they struggle to connect the dots. Employers should invest in programs that offer education and benefits side-by-side.

Woman chewing on a pencil sitting at her desk near a cup of colored pencils.

For example, many employers offer HSAs. HSAs can lead to big healthcare savings for employees who use them. But because they’re unconventional, sometimes employees struggle to understand how they work.

A good wellness benefits program can analyze employees’ situation and see if an HSA is right for them. If it is, it can show employees how to enroll and maximize their return.

Financial wellness tools should guide employees to benefits by educating them.

These programs can also offer third-party benefits that employers aren’t currently offering. Student loan refinancing and budgeting apps are common.

When educational tools are presented alongside benefits, more employees will engage. And when employees engage, employers are more likely to get on board.


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