Employees stressed over health and financial worries

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Employees stressed over health and financial worries

There are high levels of stress among employees in the UK and Ireland, driven by concerns about their health and financial well-being, Niall O’Callaghan has said.

“Worry and stress impacts on health and it has an impact in the workplace affecting productivity and engagement. We all need to do what we can to ensure our employees are healthy and confident in their ability to manage their personal finances.”

Research by Mercer, which surveyed 1,500 employees aged between 24-64, found that it is not just employees in their 40s with responsibilities for elderly relatives and young children who felt financially stressed.

Rising property prices, indebtedness and inadequate retirement savings were effecting employee groups, such as empty nesters, early settlers, established and mature families.

Providing financial and retirement planning advice would be valued by 58 per cent.

Other concerns included the repayment of debts, the ability to get on the property ladder and the ability to support old and infirm relatives.

Industry view

Duncan Jarrett, managing director of retail at Aegon UK, said: “The government’s consultation on methods of extending advice needs to look at the ways of reframing consumer thinking. If you take a household example, as a car gets older many people opt for an annual service that can spot potential problems early.

“While it involves a regular cost, it could pay you back many times over if it prevents a major expense at a later date. The same is true of advice – when people understand that the cost is potentially securing them a much more comfortable retirement or removing a major worry, then the value becomes apparent.”