How Leading Benefits Consultants Are Thinking About Financial Wellbeing

Posted by Brin Chartier

Consultants and benefits brokers are in a strategic position to help clients find programs that successfully reduce financial stress and drive positive outcomes.

This article was originally published on BenefitsPro

When it comes to workplace financial wellbeing, employers want to provide the right solutions but are often overwhelmed. Many are simply too busy to find the best fit on their own. 

Consultants, however, are in a strategic position to help clients find programs that successfully reduce financial stress and drive positive outcomes. What are consultant's top priorities right now when it comes to financial wellbeing? 

Alex Curcio, Analyst at Curcio Webb, says key priorities involve determining each employer’s definition of financial wellbeing and how their benefit plans and available services/tools support such definition. 

“Financial wellbeing encompasses a broad set of concepts that revolve around an organization’s benefit goals,” says Curcio. “By defining what ‘financial wellbeing’ means to each organization, they can systematically design their benefit plans to achieve specific, desired goals. Ultimately, our clients understand the links between financial health, emotional health, and physical health. Plan sponsors are consistently looking for ways to align and measure these three important health metrics, and improving financial wellness is an important aspect of holistic health.”

Holistic health is a key driver of financial wellbeing program adoption across all types of workforces. Willis Towers Watson recently found that workers who struggle financially are likelier to report suffering from anxiety or depression and lose 44% more work time to absences than peers without financial worries. It makes sense for employers to want to address the financial stress of their employees and look at workplace wellbeing through a holistic lens.

Once a financial wellbeing program is implemented, how can employers and brokers team up to ensure success? Curcio suggests that “a program is only successful if employees understand it well enough to utilize it on a consistent basis.” His firm believes that in order to provide a successful resource for employees, it needs to be coupled with a strong training and communication plan. “While the tools may be outstanding, these programs can fail to launch solely due to inadequate communication around the features and perceived benefits of participation,” he adds.

As workplace financial wellbeing continues to rise in the ranks as a must-have employee benefit, brokers also look forward to advancements in data and integrations.

“We feel that financial wellness and health are synonymous and can be tracked through claims data,” Curcio says. “We think that the next evolution of financial will involve a deeper integration of health and financial wellbeing in measurable and actionable data points.”

Tags: Brokers

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