Best Practices for Workplace Financial Education: Benefits Magazine occasionally runs popular posts from the International Foundation Word on Benefits[R] blog at This article combines two posts by Rebecca Estrada from September 12,2018 and October 9, 2018.

Author:Estrada, Rebecca
Position:Word / on benefits

Every time I come home from Costco or Target, I get that look from my husband. You know the look ... the look that says "why do we need 16 gallons of Nutella?" (I promise--It will be gone before Christmas!) While your budgetary kryptonite may not be Nutella, most folks do have financial weaknesses. And the organizations that responded to the International Foundation financial education survey agree.

In the new report Financial Education for Today's Workforce: 2018 Survey Results, organizations reported that top challenges affecting a significant portion of their plan participants include credit card debt, saving for retirement and paying for their children's education.

Financial Challenges

Financial challenges affect stress levels, impacting physical health, the ability to focus on work, absenteeism and morale--But educating your workforce on financial topics doesn't come without challenges. Lack of time and resources, lack of interest from participants, and having your workers spread across multiple locations and shifts are some of the most noted obstacles. But at the same time, 40% of organizations report that the demand for financial education is increasing.

The scary part? These challenges are not going away. The not-so-scary part? There are a lot of ways to tackle these issues. Let's take a look at some ideas.

What to Talk About?

The top three most popular financial topics covered by organizations are:

* Retirement plan benefits

* Preretirement financial planning

* Budgeting.

However, popular topics change when comparing different types of organizations. Budgeting falls to fourth place for multiemployer plans, and it is not even in the top ten for public employers. (Since credit cards and other debt are the top challenge affecting significant portions of participants across all sectors, it might be worthwhile for plan sponsors to include classes on budgeting.)

It is worth noting that large organizations (10,000 or more workers) tend to offer training on a wider variety of topics compared with smaller organizations. This is most likely due to larger budgets (large organizations are twice as likely to have a budget for financial literacy compared with smaller organizations) and a wider range of education needs.

When to Talk About It?

There are two categories of timing to consider when planning financial education sessions: time of life and time of day.

Time of Life

Instead of pushing out a general message about retirement savings to all...

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