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BROOKFIELD, Wis., April 2 -- The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans issued the following news release:
To raise awareness on the importance of financial education and retirement security during the 10th annual National Employee Benefits Day, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans released preliminary findings from a new report that found 68 percent of employers offer some kind of financial education for employees. The report, Financial Education for Today's Workforce: 2014 Survey Results, reflects the growing need for employers to offer programs that help their staff navigate the often complex systems required for retirement planning and financial security.
"Employees and plan participants share many uncertainties when it comes to their retirement, and we are encouraged to see a growing number of employers offering beneficial financial education programs in the workplace, but there's room for improvement," said Michael Wilson, CEO of the International Foundation. "Everyone needs to pay attention to this issue and, as part of National Employee Benefits Day, we want to help raise awareness for all employers on the importance of providing not only critical benefits, but education on how employees can plan ahead to help manage their money in order to make their retirement dreams a reality."
Initial findings from the survey reveal that employers recognize that in order to increase employees' ability to manage money and retirement asset allocation, they must first provide them with the tools required to make sound financial decisions in their daily lives. Through financial literacy workshops, retirement income calculators and personal consultation services provided by employers, employees receive an understanding of their finances that helps them take control and manage their financial future.
Additional findings from the report, which shares information from 397 member organizations in the United States and Canada, included:
Approximately half of all organizations offer benefits literacy and retirement security education. Nearly two in five organizations feel a responsibility to educate workers on pension and benefit options, encourage retirement savings and help them become financially literate managers of their money. Half of organizations surveyed have experienced an increased demand from employees/participants for financial education in the last five years.
"There is an obvious need for employees to become better acquainted with their finances and prospects for retirement," said Julie Stich, Director of Research at the International Foundation. "The survey found that only 18 percent of employers consider their average employee at retirement age to be very or extremely prepared for retirement. Offering educational opportunities to participants is a way for employers to give their employees the tools and confidence to plan for their retirement."
In February 2014, the International Foundation surveyed member organizations across the United States and Canada on the various types of retirement and financial education offerings they provide to their employees and participants. In total, 397 responses were received (310 from the United States and 87 from Canada). About two in five respondents represent corporations, nearly one-third represent multiemployer trust funds, and about one in five represents public employers/governmental entities. A wide variety of industries, fund sizes and regions/provinces were represented. Additional preliminary findings from Financial Education for Today's Workforce: 2014 Survey Results are available online at www.ifebp.org/financialeducation. A full report with all findings will be released later this year.
National Employee Benefits Day was created in 2004 by the International Foundation and is celebrated annually each April 2, to commemorate the date the International Foundation was established. The day recognizes trustees, administrators, corporate benefits practitioners and professional advisors for their hard work and dedication in providing quality employee benefits. To learn more, visit www.ifebp.org/benefitsday.
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