April is National Financial Literacy Month. It’s a good opportunity for all employers to evaluate how well their organization supports the financial well-being of their employees, as well as spotlighting the financial benefits available.
Start with your retirement plan. Does your company offer 401(k) matching? Of the eligible employees that aren’t participating, why not create a Financial Literacy Month awareness campaign around retirement planning? Review your plan, emphasize the benefits of the company match and encourage employees to contribute enough to at least earn all of your matching dollars.
I encourage people of all ages to maximize their retirement contributions from annual compensation increases before doing anything with after-tax dollars.
Does your company offer an HSA plan? If so, offer a Lunch-and-Learn where the plan is discussed and employees can ask questions (and everyone likes free lunch!). Educate them on the triple tax benefit they receive with an HSA along with how this type of savings can be utilized.
What about life insurance? Schedule a separate opportunity during Financial Literacy Month to talk about your company-sponsored life insurance, especially if you provide a small amount of coverage for free or at a competitively low rate, and how it differs from purchasing an outside policy – and why owning both may be advantageous.
If your company offers a financial wellness program, share links to corresponding educational courses available through your program to support your message and further educate your employees on retirement, day-to-day financial planning, saving money, using credit wisely and paying off debt. You could even include some of these courses within your brief benefits presentations to help your employees become more financially savvy.
The key is playing an active role in the financial well-being of your workforce. Do not reserve these conversations for annual open enrollment. Rather, make financial literacy a part of an ongoing commitment toward improving the lives of those who work for you.