As workers struggle with financial stress related to the pandemic, employers are bolstering financial wellbeing programs to help ease that strain, with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), according to a new report by Alight Solutions (NYSE: ALIT), a leading cloud-based provider of integrated digital human capital and business solutions.
Now that financial wellbeing programs are the norm, employers are looking for ways to enhance the tools and resources available to their workers. According to Alight’s 2022 Hot Topics in Retirement & Financial Wellbeing report, 7 in 10 employers are creating or implementing a financial wellbeing strategy and another 17% say their strategy is fully executed. Overall, 83 percent intend to include diversity, equity and inclusion in retirement and financial wellbeing programs by taking steps like reviewing communication materials with an eye toward DE&I, measuring financial wellness by different employee segments and leveraging employee resource groups to discuss retirement and financial wellbeing topics.
“For the first time, we asked employers about their plans to expand DE&I in their retirement and financial wellbeing programs and the answer was a resounding yes,” said Rob Austin, head of research at Alight. “Many companies are realizing that focusing on DE&I can help with attraction and retention of workers while helping promote a more equitable environment. It comes as no surprise that we’re seeing the DE&I focus extend to employee benefits now.”
In addition to a focus on DE&I programs, the report also identified other key strides employers are making when it comes to their approach to retirement and financial wellbeing:
- 57% of employers are satisfied with the participation rates of their defined contribution plans– up from 46% in 2018.
- There’s been rapid growth in the percentage of employers offering specific tools to help with topics including
- budgeting (35% in 2018 to 59% now),
- debt management (27% in 2018 to 51% now)
- and financial planning (28% in 2018 to 52% now).
The Hot Topics in Retirement & Financial Wellbeing survey has been conducted annually since 2004. This year’s survey includes responses from more than 110 U.S. companies representing more than 4 million workers.
For more information, and to access the complete report, please visit alight.com.