The Employee Financial Wellness Survey is a publication from PwC’s employee financial education and wellness practice. It tracks the financial well-being of full-time employed US adults nationwide. This year it incorporates the views of more than 1,600 full-time employed adults.
The 2017 results highlight how employees define financial wellness and their polarizing views regarding the potential impact of government policies. Financial stress, student loans, and retirement plan withdrawals all present obstacles to employee financial well-being and a potentially significant cost to employers.
Nearly one-third of all employees is distracted by personal financial issues while at work, with almost half of them spending three hours or more each week handling personal finances at work.
Fifty-three percent of all employees are stressed about their finances. Those who are stressed are more likely to be distracted by their finances at work, miss work on account of their personal financial issues, and cite health issues caused by financial stress.
“Financial stressors are not only negatively impacting employees, but are costing employers. Stressed employees are found to be less productive, take time off from work to deal with their finances, and are more likely to cite health issues caused by financial stress. These findings are concerning and potentially significant for companies looking to evaluate the return on investment of a financial wellness program.”
This trend is particularly concerning given the financial challenges younger employees will face in the future due to disappearing defined benefit pension plans and rising medical expenses.
Among the 40% of Millennials and 31% of Gen X employees with student loans, we find rising numbers who say that their loans are having a significant impact on their ability to meet other financial goals—45% of Millennials (up from 35% last year) and 42% of Gen X (up from 31% last year).
Thirty-eight percent say there will be a positive impact, another 38% say the impact will be negative, and 24% believe there will be no impact. However, higher earners and men are more optimistic that they will benefit.