Pensions 

Employers urged to provide financial education

Employers urged to provide financial education

Providers have been urged to provide more financial education to their staff after it emerged provision had dropped in the last year.

 

Research from Barnett Waddingham, published in December, found the number of organisations offering financial education to employees fell from 41 per cent in 2017 to 36 per cent by the end of 2018. 

The research was based on 246 responses.

In spite of the dip over the past 12 months, the results also showed an overall increase on the 32 per cent of employers that had offered financial education to their employees in 2015. 

Patrick Connolly, chartered financial planner at Chase de Vere, said he was disappointed at the findings and urged employers to act.

He said: "Employers are ideally placed to help their employees plan for the future. 

"Those who don’t may, over time, be faced with an ageing workforce that cannot afford to retire and as a result suffer from lower productivity, succession planning issues and losing younger talent to competitors that provide more opportunity for advancement."

Damian Stancombe, head of workplace health and wealth Barnett Waddingham, stated in the report: "If education is ever required about appropriate decision making, it should be before employees access their pension, and should not be based on apathy, but instead focused on how they want to lead their lives when retirement comes around."

But Ann Marie Bell, director at employee benefits platform, GettaSub, took a more positive view, pointing to the overall increase in organisations offering financial education to their staff since 2015.

She said: "[This] however minimal, is still a positive step towards improving the financial well-being of employees."

But she added: "However, moving forward, it is equally essential that financial education in the workplace is combined with tangible methods to improve the financial situation of employees who may be struggling with debt, or personal finances.

"Such methods, including short-term loans that are FCA regulated and work through the payroll system, could offer a helping hand to those who are still struggling to deal with the ‘damage’ caused by the holiday season, or an unexpected large one-off payment.

"In the future, I hope that all employees will be fully financially educated by their employer and aware of all of the options that are available to them through their company, should they face financial difficulty."