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Everything You Need to Know About Financial Wellness Programs

Jeff Clark, CFP®

72% of employees worry about their finances at work, leading to lost productivity and low engagement.  A recent survey found that financial stress costs employers more than $2,000 per employee per year in lost productivity and absenteeism. 

While traditional financial benefits such as 401(k) plans and life insurance are great on their own, they are often not comprehensive enough to address the majority of your employees’ financial needs. Those in their 20s will have vastly different financial needs than employees in their 50s. That’s where holistic financial wellness programs come in. When it comes to financial wellness, employees need a comprehensive program customized to their life stage.

Current Market Landscape of Financial Wellness Programs 

Although not new, financial wellness programs have undergone significant changes in recent times. Leading market intelligence firm IDC published a new report that describes the market landscape for financial wellness. They identified four categories of financial wellness programs: 

  1. Solutions for only a subset of employees. Solutions only accessible to executives or high net worth employees. 
  2. Solutions that focus on education and coaching. Financial wellness programs with the main goal of driving financial literacy for your employees.  
  3. Solutions that address only a single aspect of financial wellness. The most common type of solution that focuses only on one part of an employee’s finances, such as student loans, estate planning, or retirement / 401(k) providers.
  4. Comprehensive solutions that are held to the fiduciary standard. These are holistic programs that include education, financial planning, investing, and day to day money management and are held to the fiduciary standard. 

BrightPlan’s Financial Wellness Program

BrightPlan’s approach to financial wellness takes a holistic view of each employee’s financial situation and provides them with personalized recommendations through a digital platform and experienced financial advisors. For example, an employee in their 40s who is worried about saving for their kid’s education while at the same time saving for retirement, can set, fund, and track progress towards both goals in BrightPlan. On the other hand, an employee in their 20s who is worried about paying down student loans while saving for a downpayment on a home, can receive personalized guidance for their specific situation through the digital platform and in conversations with a financial advisor. This makes financial wellness relevant to employees’ lives, increasing the likelihood of higher engagement and lower financial stress. In addition, BrightPlan is the first financial wellness program certified for fiduciary excellence that is real-time, personalized and integrated with employer benefits. 

Digital Platform

BrightPlan’s digital platform has four pillars:

Learn facilitates employee education on financial topics through the BrightPlan Academy and content customized for each employer. 

Plan assists employees in building a personal financial roadmap. Powered by the BrightPlan Financial Wellness Coach™, the plan adapts as individuals continue on their journey to financial wellness.

Invest automates saving and investing with recommended investment strategies for each of an employee’s goals. BrightPlan links to outside investment accounts, so all of an employee’s personal finances are visible in one location. 

Manage brings finances together in a dashboard summarizing your entire financial life. The Employee Wellness Score charts an employee’s progress towards financial well-being, while Smart Budgeting and Spending Analysis maintain the discipline necessary to control expenses and accumulate wealth. 

Human Touch

BrightPlan’s financial wellness program doesn’t stop there. We offer employees access to experienced financial advisors. Advisors can help detect gaps in a financial plan, giving valuable insight on employees’ journey towards their financial goals.  

Supporting all four pillars of BrightPlan’s program is our emphasis on fiduciary responsibility. BrightPlan’s digital platform and its team of experienced financial advisors deliver advice through a certified fiduciary process. BrightPlan is the first digital advisor certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, CEFEX.

BrightPlan offers a comprehensive financial wellness program that addresses the needs of every employee at every stage of their life, helping reduce employee financial stress leading to happier, more productive and engaged employees.