2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey

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US employees still aren’t confident about reaching their long-term goals, and retirement plans continue to serve as a safety valve for more immediate needs. As employees stress over uncertainty regarding healthcare and are pressed to support both aging parents and grown children, employers have an opportunity to help.

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.

September 2018 special report: Employee money personalities

Five takeaways for financial wellness programs

When asked to describe their approach to money, half of all U.S. employees in the 2018 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey label themselves as savers focused on finding ways to plan for the future. When it comes to personal finances, though, employee actions are what truly matters. Here are five takeaways about money personalities and behaviors that can influence how employers tailor their approach to financial wellness programs. 

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2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey highlights

Retirement plan leakage

Forty-two percent of employees say it’s likely they’ll need to use money held in retirement plans for expenses other than retirement, and that number is even higher among employees who are stressed about their finances or impacted by student loans.

"Retirement plan funds have become a safety valve for many who don’t have money set aside for an emergency or unexpected expense. While some employers are looking to address this growing concern through plan design changes that further restrict loans and withdrawals, they may only exacerbate the situation if employees then seek less favorable ways to meet their needs. It is our continued belief that it will take a combination of strategic plan redesign, along with an increased focus on promoting healthier employee financial behaviors, to solve the issue."

Kent E. Allison, Partner and National Practice Leader

Financial wellness means financial freedom

Employees are consistent—year upon year and across generations—when they define financial wellness in terms of aspirational goals like freedom from stress and financial worry, and being able to make choices to enjoy life.

Employees want help with their finances

More than half of all employees want to make their own financial decisions but are looking to have someone validate that decision. Employees want a financial wellness benefit with access to unbiased counselors and help understanding and using their benefits.

Amid ongoing uncertainty, healthcare is a concern

Healthcare emerges as an even bigger employee concern. A growing number of employees would be willing to sacrifice future pay increases for better healthcare benefits. Overall, among employees’ retirement concerns, worries over health issues and healthcare costs combined are even more prevalent than the fear of running out of money.

Employee financial wellness goes mobile

PwC EnvisionTM Digital, our mobile platform, proactively engages employees to change and sustain behaviors that improve their overall financial wellness.

View the brochure


Contact us

Kent E. Allison

Partner & National Leader, Employee Financial Education & Wellness , PwC US

Tel: +1 (973) 236 5253

Aaron J. Harding

Managing Director, Employee Financial Education & Wellness, PwC US

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