80% of employees surveyed say debt levels are a problem – InsuranceNewsNet

The overwhelming majority of employees surveyed — about 8 in 10 — describe their level of debt as a problem, according to the 2022 Workplace Wellbeing Survey released by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research. This represents an increase of 15 points since 2021 (65%).

Of those with a debt problem, 78% describe their
the level of household debt on credit cards is a problem. In
Additionally, more than half describe their medical or health-related debt (57%) and student loan debt (51%) as problems. Health
ER (47%) is the largest contributor to medical care
debt, while financing their own education (64%) is the first
source of student loan debt considered problematic.

The survey found that around half of employees are concerned about their emotional (50%) and physical (48%) well-being. The 60% of those who say they are at least moderately concerned about the financial well-being of their household represents an increase of 11 points since 2021 (49%).

“Finance professionals can help workers develop a plan to address debt and financial issues at all stages of life.”
— Paul Fronstin, Director of Health Benefits Research for EBRI

“Whether it’s saving for retirement, paying monthly bills, paying for kids’ college education, paying off student loans, or caring for children or parents, workers are financially pulled into many directions,” said EBRI’s Paul Fronstin, explaining why so many employees describe their level of debt as problematic.

“Sometimes workers are so in the weeds that they can’t see their way,” said Fronstin, director of health benefits research for EBRI. “Finance professionals can help workers develop a plan to address debt and financial issues at all stages of life.”

The survey revealed that employees consider the following benefits to be important:

  • Workplace flexibility
  • work-life balance
  • Paid vacation
  • Leave benefits

Most respondents believe that working from home has had a positive impact on their well-being.

Only four in ten (39%) rated the work-life balance at their company as excellent or very good, which has declined significantly since 2021. 36% rate it as good and 25% rate it as fair or Wrong.

Explaining why these benefits have become so important to employees, Fronstin said the pandemic has likely changed expectations about workplace flexibility in general.

“Remote work has been proven to work and workers appreciate the benefits associated with such flexibility,” he said, adding, “It gives them time that they can use productively, like taking their children to school, exercise or healthy preparation. meal.”

Other key findings

The survey offered additional results, including:

  • Health insurance and retirement savings plans are the most common employee benefits and are the main benefits for employee retention/recruitment and financial security. Four in ten employees (44%) are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package, down 7 points from 2021 (51%).
  • Most employees have a high level of understanding of their health benefits, and half rate their employer’s communications about health benefits highly. Half of employees (52%) rate their employer’s communications about health insurance and healthcare as excellent or very good. But less than half (47%) rate online resource communications about benefits at the same level.
  • Most employees agree that it is difficult to balance work and caregiving, but few employees report having access to benefits. A quarter of employees (24%) report that their employer offers subsidized/free child care or daycare. Among those who have access, 65% of employees have used it, and among those who do not have access, 44% are interested in taking advantage of this advantage.
  • Half of the employees surveyed are satisfied with their current pension benefits, and most are satisfied with the contributions received from their employer. Seven out of ten employees (70%) say they are currently offered a retirement savings plan. Half of employees (51%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current pension benefits, and nearly six in ten (58%) understand their pension benefits extremely or very well.
  • Most employees surveyed believe that mental health wellness programs have become more important over the past year, and most are interested in mental health resources and expanded benefits.
  • Less than half of employees report having a financial wellness program at work. When offered, six out of ten employees participated. More than four in ten employees (45%) also say their employer offers the opportunity to participate in a financial wellness program.

“Over the past few years, key metrics such as job satisfaction, satisfaction with benefits, and work-life balance ratings have remained fairly consistent,” said Lisa Greenwald, President and CEO. from the direction of Greenwald Research. “It is important to note the declines measured this year in overall benefits satisfaction and in work-life balance ratings, which contrast with stable job satisfaction, and the belief that remote working has improved well-being. be and highlights the need for employers to accelerate wellness efforts.

A total of 1,518 full-time and part-time American workers between the ages of 21 and 64 were interviewed for the survey. Information was collected through 20-minute online interviews conducted from July 13 to July 29, 2022.

Ayo Mseka has over 30 years of experience reporting on the financial services industry. She was previously editor of NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. Contact her at [email protected].

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John A. Bogar