Half with money worries believe it's affected their work
Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, November 28, 2018
Nearly half of people with money worries believe the quality of their work suffers as a result, according to Aegon
Its research found that money concerns stem from a number of factors, including feeling unprepared for a financial emergency (27% of respondents), the everyday costs of living (26%), and worrying about being unprepared for retirement (21%). More than two-thirds of people (69%) say they face money worries.
Most employers want to help, with 60% recognising that improving employee financial wellbeing would boost productivity, and 63% of large companies being concerned about their workers’ ability to save for the future.
However, the report revealed that many were unsure of how to go about this. Seventy-seven per cent of employers were not aware of regulations around the difference between financial guidance and advice, and did not know when they might be over-stepping the line into 'advice' (which can only be given by a regulated adviser). Another 45% thought they’d be intruding by approaching employees about it.
The research found that 70% of employees would find general information highlighting steps to improve their financial wellbeing useful, while 64% said the same about face-to-face counselling and support around debt management.
The findings come as part of a wider campaign launched by Aegon that aims to tackle financial wellbeing in the workplace.
As part of the campaign Aegon is calling for: an increase in awareness among employers of the government’s £500 allowance for pensions advice for each employee, a shift in mindset so that financial wellbeing is viewed as of equal importance as physical and mental wellbeing, greater support for employers to offer financial education to employees and better communicate the benefits they already provide, and effective tools for employees to plan their financial future with confidence.
This follows previous research by Aegon, which found that workers worry more about money while at work than other key issues such as family problems and personal health. Younger workers are among the worst affected, while smaller companies are also more susceptible to this problem, it found.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said that the results showed financial wellbeing is a concern for employees and employers alike. “Employees have told us that poor financial wellbeing is harming their productivity at work. Now employers are adding significant weight to the evidence on this issue," he said.
He added that poor financial wellbeing is having a detrimental effect on the economy: “It’s costing employers millions of working days a year and billions to the economy. Clearly companies want to do more to provide the help their employees need.
"We need to start a ‘win-win’ conversation about this issue so employees know where they can receive support and employers feel empowered to give it.”
Aegon's research is based on a survey of 505 HR decision-makers and 2,000 UK employees across the country and was carried out by YouGov.