Survey: Young Adults Look to Employers for Financial Education, Guidance

Posted on April 1, 2009

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A new survey recently released by Charles Schwab finds that “the majority (52 percent) of young adults between the ages of 23 and 28 consider ‘making better choices about managing money’ the single most important issue for individual Americans to act on today. . ..” and that “twenty-three- to twenty-eight-year-olds show some unexpectedly traditional views when it comes to personal finance.”

One of the survey’s findings of particular interest (at least to HR professionals) was that 66 percent of respondents stated that they would like to see employers provide more education on a range of financial topics, not just those related directly to their employee benefits. According to the press release:

When it comes to financial education and guidance offered by employers, there is a sizable gap between what younger workers want and what their employers actually offer, despite the fact that almost one in three young workers (31 percent) say they are not very familiar or at all familiar with their employers’ offering of financial benefit plans. The following list ranks in order of importance the education and guidance these younger workers would like vs. whether their employers offer it:

  • 401(k) or company-sponsored retirement plan guidance (50 percent of employees want it; 30 percent of employers offer it). Interestingly, of those individuals who have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, 87 percent believe it’s an important benefit but 35 percent aren’t contributing to it. Of those who do contribute, over one-third (35 percent) aren’t confident in their ability to make suitable investment choices.
  • Debt management education (30 percent of employees want it; eight percent of employers offer it)
  • Advice on investing outside a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan (30 percent of employees want it; seven percent of employers offer it)
  • Budgeting advice (26 percent of employees want it; 10 percent of employers offer it)
  • Guidance on purchasing a home (22 percent of employees want it; five percent of employers offer it)
  • Counsel on saving for a child’s education (19 percent employees want it; four percent of employers offer it)

What do you think – to what extent should employers be providing financial education and/or guidance to employees?

Posted in: Benefits