Your Industry  

Employees want better financial education from employers

Employees want better financial education from employers

Employees want their employers to provide better financial education, particularly around helping them save for retirement, according to research.

The survey of 1,801 employees found 76 per cent think improved provision of education around financial matters would help them to cope with “life issues” such as retirement planning and saving towards a deposit for a property.

According to the research carried out by Capita Employee Benefits as part of its Insight Report series, 48 per cent of those surveyed selected help with saving for retirement as the most popular benefit that employees believed they would gain from financial education.

Article continues after advert

This was followed by learning how to live within a budget, picked by 22 per cent of employees who were surveyed, and learning how to manage and pay off existing debts (21 per cent).

How employees would like this financial education given to them differed among age groups, with over a third (35 per cent) of younger and middle-aged employees wanting access to information via a website, making this the most popular option, although this was only the fourth most popular choice for over 55 year olds.

Of the 55 year olds surveyed, 35 per cent would prefer to have one-to-one meetings with their line manager or HR department, and sourcing information via leaflets and brochures came second for both groups at 31 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

But Joshua Gerstler, financial adviser and company director at The Orchard Practice, said while he was not surprised by the results, he did not entirely agree with them.

"While it would be nice if employers were to provide their employees with financial education, I do not believe it is their responsibility to do this," he said.

He added: "I think the more educated employees are about their finances the better. I always try to make sure that my clients understand their finances so that they can make informed decisions.

"It is very easy for clients to just accept everything I tell them, but it is always better when they can discuss their finances confidently and offer thoughts and ideas."

However, Gareth Davies, research and engagement manager at Capita Employee Benefits believed the case for financial education was “compelling”.

He explained: "Our research found that one in five admitted that their financial worries affected their work, with a third saying they had lost sleep worrying about their finances.”

Patrick Connolly, head of communications at Chase de Vere Independent Financial Advisers, confirmed it offered financial education in the workplace services and suggested these are valued by employees.

He added: "We’re also seeing an increasing number of forward-thinking employers that are recognising the benefits both to their employees and to their business in terms of productivity and succession planning.

"The workplace is the ideal environment for many people to access financial advice and guidance and so ideally, going forwards, more employers will offer this as part of their overall benefits package."