In week 11 of his 15 week blog Carl revisits the second of Barnett Waddingham’s 6 pillars of employee wellbeing; financial security.

wellness on a budget

In week 4 of this blog series I discussed in some detail financial security - exploring both immediate and future financial issues. I would like to think I was quite open and honest about my own relationship with money and how my focus on finances (like much of my generation) is on the here and now, and retirement barely registers.

I was actually watching BBC Breakfast this morning and they had an article discussing why the younger generation (under 35’s in this particular case) are so disengaged with pensions and how the average age someone under 35 thought they would retire was 63. Don’t laugh. If this was true then the average (and take this with a pinch of salt because everyone’s needs will be different) ‘pension pot’ size required to retire at age 63 would be just north of half a million pounds. I won’t be retiring at 63!

We all know saving for retirement is important but as I mentioned initially in week 4 younger employees cannot save more for retirement because they are too busy paying off debt, saving for a first house or even just struggling to pay the monthly bills.

Here are some statistics from our ‘Why BWell?’ employee wellbeing survey from 2015:

  • 15.5% said that their immediate financial security was a concern
  • 32.7% said that their future financial security was a concern
  • 29.6% of those earning under £20,000 have immediate financial concerns compared to 16.7% of those earning over £75,000
  • 40.8% of those aged over 50 had future financial concerns compared to 17.6% of those aged 18-29

The results above show that there is an age/affluence split between an individual’s concerns being directed towards now or the future. As we would have all predicted younger and less affluent employees are concerned about their immediate financial security and older and more affluent employees are concerned about the future and their retirement.

If this really is the case then is it time to reinvest some pension spend into helping employees with their immediate financial security? After all auto-enrolment dictates that ‘all employees’ will have a pension, so you must target your education so that they don’t opt out, and then concentrate on what affects them now.

For the older generation approaching retirement then the opposite is true: they should have more education on retirement and their options so that they are thinking about how they wish to retire before the eleventh hour. Surely this is the right way to engage and help your employees, targeted - not blanket - communication.

Hopefully this gives you something to think about; my advice as always is to find out what your employees are concerned about then respond accordingly.

Read Carl's first blog on financial security HERE

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