Of the many hats employers have to wear when it comes to supporting their employees, financial education is increasingly becoming a priority and an area in which employees require guidance. Financial education is an extremely efficient and effective route to increasing engagement and empowering employees and something that can be applied in various ways to suit an individual company’s needs. There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model as no one company is the same.

The current economic climate has made employees of all levels assess their financial health. A major part of this is the increasing pressure for people to consider their financial provision for retirement at an earlier age and take responsibility for planning it. More than half of employees (64%) surveyed * admitted they were worried about their current financial situation providing them with enough money to live comfortably in retirement. One way for an employer to build its relationship with, and garner loyalty from its staff is to consider their needs and help them to make the most of their money.

Some employers feel it is their responsibility to educate their staff; others look at financial education as a way of empowering employees to help themselves; while an increasing number use financial education as a means to increase awareness of the benefits packages on offer and how individuals can use these benefits in their own financial planning.

It is now accepted that the days of being able to depend on the State to provide for our future financial security are over and so people realise that they must take more responsibility themselves. Most employees accept that they often don’t have the information or the understanding to do this on their own with 43% saying they would welcome financial education and support from independent specialists. Almost seven in 10 (69%) of employees surveyed felt it was their employers responsibility to inform them of any regulatory changes.

People of all walks of life are considering how best to manage their money. However, the choices, the legislation and the risks can be complex and without unbiased information and expert guidance, individuals may make inappropriate decisions and suffer as a result. Financial education will solve this problem. The most important thing is ensuring the financial education package that employers offer meets the needs of their employees and that they are delivered in an effective and cost efficient way. This way, both employers and employees can reap the long-term benefits of the initial outlay.