UK companies struggle with how to implement financial wellbeing strategies

Launched today, Barnett Waddingham’s Beyond Pensions report, reveals that UK employers care about the financial needs of their employees and want to help alleviate their financial stress, but are not hitting the spot.

Our research of 200 employers reveals, 88% of organisations are concerned about the financial issues their employees are struggling with and agree that there is a need for guidance. However, when it comes down to it, 49% of organisations currently have no defined financial wellbeing strategy in place and 60% do not provide any sort of financial education or guidance.

UK companies understand having a financial wellbeing strategy in place will help optimise the performance of their workforces, but taking action to implement the strategy is proving difficult. Cost [61%], measuring return on investment [33%] and board level buy-in [19%] are three of the major obstacles when considering the implementation of financial wellbeing provision.

The research also reveals that employers believe that the employee (28%), the Government (27%) and the employer (24%) are almost equally responsible for ensuring their workforce has the minimum living wage income at retirement. Even though only 8% of employees believe employers are responsible for their future savings, almost three quarters (74%) of UK businesses contribute more than the minimum auto-enrolment rate.

Paul Leandro, Partner at Barnett Waddingham, said:

“Regulatory fatigue around pensions is lessening and, given there has been no policy changes for three years, employers feel they have more freedom to be creative with the wider pension and financial benefit strategy for employees. However beyond pension provision, companies are struggling to implement the right level of financial wellbeing support and provisions.

“Obtaining Board level buy-in is a priority for HR and pensions managers, but proving the value of having a well thought-out financial wellbeing strategy which provides a tangible return on investment is key to this. Only 50% of organisations actually have measures in place to address this.

 “Until financial wellbeing enters the board level agenda, and overarching strategies are agreed and monitored, employees will continue to receive employer paid benefits that are not effective at helping them with the financial issues they face today or tomorrow … or the ‘one day’.”


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