For help managing—and improving—your finances, you may want to make the HR department your first stop.
Companies are increasingly focused on employees' financial wellness. And it's not all about retirement. Some 64 percent of large employers now offer help planning for health-care costs, up from 46 percent who said they did so in 2013, according to the 2015 Workplace Benefits Report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, released today. (Tweet This) The report found that budgeting help is on offer at 40 percent of companies, up from 21 percent. And 43 percent of employers offer information on managing debt, up from 22 percent.
Additional programs are on the way. More than 90 percent of 250 large companies surveyed by benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt said they plan to introduce or expend financial wellness programs this year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have also encouraged efforts to improve financial wellness among employees.
In the Bank of America Merrill Lynch report, 90 percent of companies said they expect financial wellness to be a "standard element" of benefits packages within the next decade. In part, that's because employers think they benefit, too, saying in the survey such perks lead to employees who are more satisfied, loyal, engaged and productive. "This is almost the umbrella over everything else, and they have to get their employees to engage," said Kevin Crain, head of retirement solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.