What trends does 2018 offer organisations in terms of their financial education approaches and strategies?

Strategy trumps tools

Although financial employee benefits, in terms of products, services and education, are booming in the current economic climate, it is the implementation of overall financial wellbeing strategies that has been the focus for employers, says Darren Laverty, partner at benefits provider Secondsight. This includes being able to measure where employees are struggling, and tracking whether an organisation’s financial education approach is having an impact.

Laverty says: “Financial wellbeing needs to be packaged as a benefit. It’s really about the strategy and then knowing which tools to apply, which [are] going to have the most impact now, and building them into an ongoing strategy for each employer.” This, of course, includes financial education.

Incorporating advice

Within this overarching strategy, increasing numbers of employers are looking to regulated financial advice as a way to support their financial education provision, which can only provide guidance to employees under current regulations.

Nevertheless, regulated financial advice can be costly, regardless of who pays for it. One cost-efficient alternative is financial coaching, says Laverty. This is where employees have a face-to-face, one-to-one meeting with a financial coach, who can talk through adjustments that could optimise their short-term, medium-term and long-term financial position. “It’s a halfway house between [talking] to a human being [but not spending] money on advice,” Laverty says. “It is a very affordable way for either the employee or the employer to pay for a real, valuable service.”

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