Monday, June 11, 2012

BofA study: Financial benefits increasingly important to workers

Financial benefits are becoming more important in attracting and retaining employees, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch study released today.

The latest Workplace Benefits Report, an annual look at employer and employee perspectives on benefits from 401(k) plans to financial advice, found nine of 10 employers believe financial benefits are equally or more important to potential hires today than five years ago. And nearly 80 percent of employees surveyed said they see those benefits as a key factor in accepting a new job.

"Benefits should be viewed as one of the most important investments a company makes to optimize employee performance, provide opportunities for them to succeed financially and gain sustainable competitive advantage," said Kevin Crain, head of Institutional Retirement and Benefits Services at the Charlotte-based bank. "A company culture known for making investments in their employees' financial wellness, in addition to their professional growth, will attract top talent and foster a more productive and loyal workforce."

The study also found most employers felt an increased sense of responsibility for their workers' financial future: 91 percent said concern for employees' financial wellness was the No. 1 reason they offer financial benefit plans.

Still, less than half of employees surveyed said they're on track, financially, to support their desired lifestyle in retirement, the survey found. And nearly three-quarters of those workers said they see themselves working into their 70s.