A recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that employers and human resources professionals are becoming more involved in helping employees plan their retirements.
BofA Merrill Lynch’s Workplace Benefits Report showed a majority of HR professionals report having to acquire greater expertise across retirement and healthcare-related topics to perform their jobs effectively—the result of an increasingly complex economic, regulatory and public policy environment that has led many workers and plan leaders to review benefits.
Sixty-one percent of HR professional report that, over the past two years, they have spent more time on tasks related to healthcare plans, 38 percent have spent more time on activities related to their retirement plans and 32 percent have spent more time on recruitment and layoff responsibilities.
The survey also found that one-third of HR professionals have increased the amount of time they spend educating employees about the role of workplace benefits in financial security.
“We see more benefit leaders than ever before acknowledging the need to play a central role in their employees’ near- and long-term financial well-being, and evolving their expertise, benefits and other resources accordingly,” Kevin Crain, the senior relationship executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. “This study identified areas where companies are providing their workforces much needed guidance, as well as areas where they understand more can be done to help employees take greater control of their financial success and prepare for the future with confidence.”
More than 80 percent of HR professionals indicated that they are at least partly responsible for their employees’ financial wellness. Seventy percent of companies offer retirement education, 38 percent offer healthcare cost education and 15 percent provide information on debt management and budgeting.