The Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF) is a non-profit
organization with the mission to promote and facilitate financial education in the
workplace. The Personal Financial Wellness Scale, ROI Calculator, the Quality Providers list, as well as Customized Services will enable employers to understand
that employees who have their finances in order will be more productive. Companies
providing financial education show results such as improvements in financial wellness
and performance ratings, and reductions in absenteeism, turnover, health care costs,
and workplace distractions. Financial education programs have the effect of contributing
hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to the company's bottom line. The ROI
generally has a return of 3:1. Click on ROI Model and use the ROI Calculator™ to
estimate the benefits for your company.
2012 Survey Finds Drop in Financial Wellness
PFEEF completed a nationwide survey in late 2012 to assess financial distress/financial well-being. According to the survey results, Americans indicated a significant drop in scores on the Personal Financial Wellness™ (PFW™) Scale from 5.7 in 2004 to 5.2 on the 10-point scale. Of the 1,039 respondents, 24% experience good to very high financial well-being. Although seemingly positive, this finding is troubling considering that just eight years ago 42% of respondents reported good to very high financial well-being. The almost 20 percent drop in financial well-being is of serious concern given that financial distress negatively affects individuals, families, and the workplace.
This research is an example of PFEEF's commitment to offering quality tools and resources for the advancement of financial wellness in the workplace. PFEEF developed the Personal Financial Wellness Scale™ to gauge financial wellness and its impact on worker productivity. The PFW Scale™ is a simple yet reliable instrument available through PFEEF to employers, financial education providers, financial advisors, counselors, and researchers. If employers have knowledge of employee financial distress, then purposeful educational interventions can be initiated. According to PFEEF President and CEO Judith Cohart, "Our goal is to demonstrate the value of educating employees and clients about how to handle their finances. When people are financially competent, everyone benefits."
Meredith's Financial Wellness Initiative
Meredith Corporation (www.meredith.com) is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands, including Better Homes and Gardens, along with local television brands in fast-growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, food, health and wellness and self-development.
"The primary goal of Meredith's wellness initiative is to help our employees enjoy a long and healthy life, right now and during retirement," said Meredith President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Lacy. "… we expanded our wellness program beyond health-related initiatives to include financial wellness. By providing employees financial information, resources and tools, we hope they are financially fit, in addition to being physically fit, at retirement.
Meredith's Financial Wellness program provides employees with tools, knowledge, and skills needed to enhance their financial health and more fully utilize company sponsored benefit programs. Meredith is committed to improving our level of employee health and financial well-being, with the primary goal to help employees and their families enjoy a long and healthy life, now and during retirement. The program includes a broad range of worksite and online financial education workshops, personalized one-on-one financial planning sessions and an annual Personal Financial Wellness Checkup. These programs enable employees to improve monthly cash flow, save for long-term goals, manage financial risk more effectively and help them invest wisely.
The foundation of the Meredith financial wellness initiative is the Personal Financial Wellness Scale (PFW Scale™), designed for Meredith by the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF). Employees earn Wellness Points toward an insurance premiums discount by completing the 20-minute questionnaire (online and hard copy versions available) and over 70% of employees participate. The PFW Scale™ and Customized Services provided by PFEEF are used to benchmark cash flow stress, rate of savings, level of understanding of employee benefits and overall level of financial well-being. Participants receive a personalized report with PFW Scale™(1 = Significant Financial Distress to 10 = No Financial Distress) and a customized action plan based on their responses and programming provided by Meredith.
Responses to the PFW Scale™ are aggregated into an annual report from PFEEF, which identifies areas of strength and opportunities for improvement across our workforce. Based on results, we develop a year-round calendar of initiatives to address areas of greatest need and interest among employees. Employee financial wellness committees at each location collaborate with the Health and Financial Wellness Program Manager to offer site-based initiatives. PFEEF is conducting a peer-reviewed research study on the impact of Meredith's program and levels of employee financial well-being.
Results from the Meredith Financial Wellness initiative are measured on three levels: (1) engagement/program satisfaction, (2) behavior change and (3) additional financial measures (such as increases in 401k and employee stock purchase plan contributions).
- 71.4% of employees completed the Personal Financial Wellness Checkup
- 35.0% of employees participated in one or more financial wellness workshops
- Average Financial Wellness Score (1-10) improved from 6.0 in 2010 to 6.6 in 2011
- Participants with high financial distress was reduced from 21.9% in 2010 to 12.9% in 2011
- Participants with a low savings rate was reduced from 48.2% in 2010 to 39.7% in 2011
- Participation in the Meredith 401(k) program improved from 84.6% in 2010 to 94.6% in 2011
"Everyone should take at least one of these classes and the YOUNGER the BETTER – A REAL EYE OPENER! Thanks for offering." (New York participant)
For more information about the Meredith program, see Meredith on the Exemplary Employer page.