Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
NEW YORK, May 8, 2014 -- Guardian Life Insurance, one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits, announced new findings from its second annual Guardian Workplace Benefits Study that reveal while four in 10 employees identify themselves as DIYers (Do-It-Yourselfers) when it comes to making financial decisions, they are significantly falling behind their peers on prioritizing and meeting key financial objectives. This is especially true for Millennials, who may need professional advice to achieve their long-term financial goals – from workplace benefits to retirement savings.
“The majority of employees are starting to realize the true value of their workplace benefits, but a workplace benefits program doesn’t work if employees drop the ball,” said Phyllis Falotico, Assistant Vice President, Group Marketing at Guardian. “DIYers forgo professional help managing their finances and may think they’re in charge, but the fact is they’re falling behind their peers when it comes to living up to their financial responsibilities. These employees are not getting the information they need on their own, so it’s important for employers to provide access to expert financial advice, and effectively engage this group in a way that makes them take action.”
According to the 2014 study, 52 percent of DIYers attribute all or most of their financial preparedness to the benefits and retirement plans available through their employers. Yet because DIYers are emotionally resistant to being helped, employers and providers alike need to rethink their approach to reach this segment.
The problem escalates for DIYer Millennials who continue to struggle with prioritizing the right kind of financial objectives and lack a clear understanding of their workplace benefits. Only a quarter of Millennials actually use most of the benefits learning opportunities available through their employer. Instead, they rely too heavily on non-expert sources such as friends, family, the web and social media for benefits education, which may lead to inaccuracies and misinformation, thus underachieving on financial success.
DIYers overall underperform on key financial objectives compared to the one-quarter of survey participants who identify themselves as DIFMs (Do-It-For-Me). For example, when asked how well they are doing on having financial security if a wage earner can no longer work due to a disability or serious illness, 64% of DIFMs answered positively compared to 51% percent of DIYers. You can see the full breakdown of DIYers vs. DIFMs in this infographic.
The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study measures the perceived value of employee benefits among American workers and can be viewed in its entirety at Guardian Anytime.