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April 28, 2017
Survey: ‘Wellness’ Programs Increasingly Encompassing Financial Wellness

A growing percentage of companies are expanding their well-being programs to include employee financial security, according to the 8th annual survey on corporate health and well-being from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.

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financial wellnessThe survey reveals 84% of companies now have financial security programs, such as access to debt management tools or student loan counseling, in their well-being strategies, an increase from 76% last year. Financial security programs are the third most-popular offering, following physical well-being programs (95%) and emotional health programs (87%).

This year’s survey, which includes responses from 141 large and mid-sized organizations, indicates that employee incentives continue to be a critical part of corporate well-being programs. Nearly three-quarters of employers (74%) include employee incentives, with the average employee incentive amount increasing to $742, up from $651 in 2016 and $521 in 2013. Employers are also increasing incentives for spouses and domestic partners, with the average annual spouse/domestic partner incentive at $694, a 47% increase over the 2016 average of $471.

“As these programs evolve, employers are embracing a broader definition of well-being to increase participation and engagement among their workforce,” said Adam Stavisky, senior vice president, Fidelity Benefits Consulting, quoted in a press release. “Today’s programs take more of a ‘health meets wealth’ approach and reflect a blend of financial, physical, and social/emotional programs to provide maximum support for members.”

The most popular financial security programs are seminars and “lunch-n-learn” programs, with 82% of surveyed employers expecting to offer these in 2017. Nearly three-fourths (74%) will offer access to tools to support key financial decisions, including mortgages, wills, and income protection. Another 71% expect to offer tools and resources to support emergency savings, debt management, and budgeting. A quarter of surveyed employers plan to offer student loan counseling or repayment assistance.

The most popular physical well-being programs continue to be smoking cessation (91%), physical activities/challenges (86%), and weight management (79%).

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