Investing in an Employee Financial Wellness Program

Financial wellness programs are becoming an increasingly popular employment benefit. Learn more about the costs and considerations.

For employees, money is the single greatest source of worry. In fact, research shows that as little as 5% of employees meet all criteria of financial wellness.

Financial stress affects not only employee well-being but also workplace productivity. Nearly 6 in 10 employees say they worry about their finances at work.

Financial Wellness Programs Are on the Rise

Understanding that most people do not have access to professionals who can help them reach their financial goals, an increasing number of employers have begun stepping in to fill that gap. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 52% of firms now provide financial wellness programs as an employee benefit. These perks may include workshops on topics like benefits information, retirement planning, or investment planning; access to a dedicated financial adviser; or even student loan repayment assistance.

Given that the average American with student debt owes over $32,700, repaying student loans is a top concern for workers, particularly among millennial employees — 40% carry student debt, and the vast majority cite it as an impediment to their financial goals.

Student loan repayment programs are not new in the workplace, but they are growing: 8% of employers offered some form of them in 2019, double the amount from 2017. Notably, a new law allows employers to contribute up to $5,250 toward loans per employee through 2025 tax-free.

Worth Their Weight in Gold?

Such programs help employers both attract top talent and increase employee loyalty. Of course, these kinds of initiatives are not free. EBRI finds that midsize companies typically spend between $50 and $500 annually per employee on financial wellness programs, making it important for employers to carefully consider the ROI of such offerings.

For employees, however, the benefits are often tangible. Of those who had recently participated in a financial wellness program, 51% of employees said they felt more engaged with their company, 40% said they felt more productive and focused at work, and 35% said they were less stressed.

Learn how Regions Next Step seminars can help your employees.


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.