As September flows into October, we shift from summer marketing into the fall selling season with the goal of a January 1st conversion date. But things may be different this year. The impact of COVID-19 is forcing retirement plans and US employers and employees to re-shape the concept of retirement. We now have to deliver a more holistic approach to the employee’s overall wellbeing.
Employers now have to consider how to address the pandemic while looking ahead to a permanently altered business environment. It is critical for retirement plan advisors to adjust to this new normal.
October is National Retirement Security Month. Ordinarily, there is an opportunity for employees to reflect on their personal retirement goals to determine if they’re on track to reach those goals. This year, as the pandemic stretches on into the fall, there may be a need to revisit both their short-and long-term financial goals.
As more and more American workers look to their workplace benefits for health and wealth support during these challenging times, it has also presented employers with a unique opportunity to help educate their employees about the value of their workplace benefits. Employers are looking for help in meeting their employee’s needs and in providing more holistic employee wellbeing. They are increasingly shifting towards financial wellness solutions to solve that need.
This trend of thinking more broadly about employee care that spans health, wealth, and broader benefits will be critical to the employer’s recovery in the months to come.
Employers are overwhelmingly saying that they are most focused on expanding their financial wellbeing benefits. According to the 2020 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing survey conducted by Alight, 64% of employers say that financial wellbeing has gained more importance at their organization over the last two years. Three-quarters of employers report that their financial wellbeing program is part of a broader focus on overall wellbeing. Another 2020 study performed by Willis Towers Watson estimates that 45% of employers are enhancing their wellness benefits due to COVID-19.
As more and more financial wellness offerings are introduced into the benefits marketplace, employers will need to carefully evaluate them and their services. Fortunately, they will look to retirement plan advisors to help them choose.
Financial wellness represents a major opportunity for retirement plan advisors to truly differentiate their practice. It will help them stand out from their peers by expanding the value they provide.
Let Financial Fitness for Life help you have the right conversations about financial wellness.
Christian Mango, AIFA® | President