The ROI of Retirement Education

Saving for Retirement Starts with Education

Now is the time to launch or reinvigorate your organization's retirement education program.

Next time you're at the office, take a look at your colleagues. Based on a number of studies, including a 2017 employee financial wellness survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, your office mates have a lot of financial stress on their mind. For many, saving for retirement has taken a back seat to paying debt and dealing with unexpected expenses.

With so many employees struggling to save for later in life, now is the time to launch or reinvigorate your organization's retirement education program. Here's how to justify the time, effort and expense when you do.

Financial Anxiety Impacts Loyalty and Productivity

Financial wellness programs provide employees with the tools and techniques to assume control of their immediate financial future as well as plan for retirement. In addition to the satisfaction that comes from helping employees where they need it the most, PwC found that when businesses invest in retirement education, employee loyalty increases along with productivity.

Lower HSA Participation Means Higher Taxes

The ADP report "Challenge for Americans: Saving For Health Care Costs in Retirement" also uncovered a troubling statistic when it comes to how employees use health savings accounts, or HSAs. "[J]ust half of employees with HSA access are contributing to one," the report found, "and many are not using it as an opportunity to bank additional savings for future medical costs."

When employees fail to contribute, their employer pays more in taxes. Consequently, when your employees commit funds to their HSA, your firm receives tax-related benefits, since you avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes of 7.65 percent on the amounts employees contribute to their account.

Retirees Need Help Saving for Health Care Costs in Retirement

In addition to setting aside funds to pay for routine living expenses, there's an even greater financial burden on the horizon that retirees must start planning for today. "Challenge for Americans" identified health care as the most likely cost facing retirees, with health care premium estimates ranging from $321,000 for a healthy 65-year-old couple to over $635,000 for a healthy 45-year-old couple. "Those who are healthy are at as much risk as those who are not — longevity is the biggest driver of lifetime health care costs," the report's authors note.

Whether an employee experiences financial stress regarding their retirement or the prospect of paying ever-increasing health care premiums, retirement education can do much to reduce their anxiety while at the same time increasing their loyalty and productivity.

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