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03 Jun 2024

3 ways to incorporate health and protection benefits in a financial wellbeing strategy

Financial wellbeing support needs to be part of a package of benefits that also help address the effects of money stress

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Over the past decade, rising prices and slowing wage growth have put UK workers under considerable financial pressure.

According to the Money and Pensions Service, almost eight in 10 employees take their money worries to work with them, affecting performance and morale.

To combat financial stress, many companies prioritise financial wellbeing as part of their employee benefits packages.

This generally takes the form of signposted advice and educational services to help staff feel more secure and in control of their finances.

These services also provide guidance on budgeting, saving and investing and help improve financial literacy by explaining complex terminology and jargon.

Yet, for your financial wellbeing strategy to be truly effective, it can’t begin and end with financial advisors and digital guides.

It needs to sit within a comprehensive support package, where relevant health and protection benefits can be accessed alongside financial education.

How health and protection benefits help

Financial wellbeing strategies need to be holistic because money worries can affect employees in various ways:

Physical effects: Financial stress can cause physical symptoms, ranging from aches and pains to exhaustion, muscle tension, high blood pressure, headaches and dizziness.

Mental effects: Financial stress can make people irritable, quick to anger, withdrawn and forgetful, and leave them feeling sad, depressed and anxious.

Lifestyle changes: When money’s tight, many people cut back on things that would otherwise benefit their health, such as gym membership and healthy eating.

And financial stress isn’t always based on facts. Sometimes, it’s about feelings.

Your employees might be worried about a change in financial circumstances (such as a new baby or retirement) or an upcoming major expense (a wedding or moving house).

Or they might fret about how they’d provide for their loved ones should something unforeseen happen.   

Integrating health and protection into financial wellbeing 

The right health and protection benefits available alongside practical financial advice can help alleviate the side effects of financial stress.

To do this, the health and protection benefits you offer staff need to make sense within the context of your financial wellbeing strategy.

Here are three ways yto do this:

1. Income protection and critical illness cover

These valuable policies provide replacement income for employees who can no longer work due to illness. By reassuring your staff that they (and their family) will be looked after should the worst happen, you could calm any future financial concerns.

2. Gym and healthy eating discounts

If employees are cutting back on working out and eating well due to money worries, you could help them make better lifestyle choices (while saving money) with discounted gym memberships and supermarket vouchers.   

3. Encourage online checkups

Even when someone’s money troubles are behind them, the physical and mental toll can linger (or worsen). Give your staff access to an online doctor and prescription service to help them bounce back from the effects of financial stress.

In summary

Employees who feel financially secure tend to be happier and more engaged.

But financial education is only part of the puzzle. When you include health and protection in your financial wellbeing strategy, you’ll enhance their physical and mental wellbeing and provide peace of mind.

With a flexible employee benefits platform like FlexGenius, powered by Avantus, you can connect financial wellbeing with health and protection by cherrypicking relevant and related employee perks and benefits.

In partnership with Avantus

Flexible Benefits & Technology specialist providing online, highly configurable platforms to Customers and Intermediaries worldwide.

Contact us today