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Older employers ‘unconvinced’ about financial wellbeing benefits

Baby boomer decision-makers in UK businesses are less convinced about the importance of financial wellbeing than their younger counterparts, research suggests.

When asked whether it is the employer’s role to support employee financial wellbeing, 82% of decision-makers under age 25 said “definitely”, while only 35% of those over 55 agreed. 

As part of the same research employees were asked whether they would take up the offer of employer financial support. The poll by Smarterly found 45% of under 25 years olds said they would, compared to only 28% of baby boomers.

Steve Watson, head of proposition of Smarterly, said financial wellbeing is an important part of the employee benefit mix so it is worrying that decision-makers aged over 55 are not as convinced as their younger counterparts.

“People – young and old – need to be supported throughout their working lives and a good financial wellbeing programme can provide this,” he added.

Michael Johnson, research fellow for the Centre for Policy Studies and corporate affairs and policy adviser to Smarterly, added that millennials’ desire for flexibility and personalisation is at odds with how many workplace benefits packages have traditionally been designed. 

“The first step towards personalisation could be to segment the workforce by age cohort. There is mounting evidence, for example, that millennials (aged 18 to 40) aspire to own their first home ahead of saving for retirement,” he explained.

The research took into consideration views from 1,248 employees and 508 HR professionals.