Nearly one-half (46%) of workers are not confident they have enough savings for their future or to see them through a period of time out of work due to illness or injury, Unum finds in its sixth annual survey of working Americans.
The online survey of 1,521 working adults, conducted in December 2013 by Harris Poll on behalf of Unum, finds that one-third (34 percent) don’t feel financially secure. The youngest workers (ages 18-34) and pre-retirees (ages 55-64) are least likely to feel secure, with 41 percent of young people and 37 percent of pre-retirees reporting they do not feel financially secure.
"We are in a post-recession environment and many working Americans are still struggling with anxiety over their finances," said Barbara Nash, vice president of corporate research for Unum (UNM). "Between stagnating wages and health insurance costs rising, many employees may not feel appreciated by their employers."
Employers can play an important role in helping their employees feel more financially secure, however, by offering important benefits like disability insurance and by communicating the value of these benefits as clearly as possible.
Unum’s research shows that employees who rate their employer and benefits package positively tend to have a brighter financial outlook. Eight in 10 employees (83 percent) who rated their benefits package as excellent or very good also say they are financially secure.
Offering these benefits appears to have a payoff for employers as well. There is a positive relationship between an employee’s rating of their employer as a place to work and their feelings of financial security, with those who rate their employer as an excellent or very good place to work reporting significantly higher feelings of financial security (79% reporting they feel financially secure) than those who rate their employer as fair or poor (41%).
"When employers invest in their workforce by offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes financial protection benefits, employees are more likely to feel valued, which may contribute to an increase in overall morale," Nash added.