Financial Counseling for Employees

With the April 15th tax deadline passing not too long ago (whew!), most of us have a better idea than usual about the state of our finances. With that in mind, now is a great time to provide some financial planning services to your employees. Many businesses provide workshops, reading materials, and private counseling to help employees make informed decisions about their financial future. Of course, the big financial issue for most employees is retirement planning. However, financial planning can be helpful for things other than a 401k.

So, why provide financial planning services to employees? Financial planning was first a perk offered to executives as a means of luring them to a company. However, most employees have begun offering this benefit to all of their employees as part of their compensation package. Key Financial Solutions offers a great list of ways that financial planning services save employers (and employees) time, stress, and money. Among the top benefits: reduced time spent by internal administrators, employee peace of mind, and decreased corporate liability in cases of benefit suits.

With that in mind, here are some of the most common types of financial planning benefits.

Personal Financial Counseling

A financial professional, usually affiliated with the company who manages your business’s retirement funds, meets individually with employees to discuss retirement planning and other financial concerns.

Some employers also offer reimbursement for employees who seek private financial counseling outside of that offered by the company.

Workshops

Employees attend a group presentation on different aspects of financial planning: 401k, retirement planning, or debt management. A presenter would give generic tips for financial planning, most likely with an opportunity for questions at the end of the session.

Good topics for workshops should move beyond 401ks and retirement planning (although those are both certainly important). Consider providing workshops on debt management, college savings programs, and financing health care. Most employees have many life-changing financial decisions to make; you want to help them choose wisely.

Online Resources

Nowadays, most employees can manage their retirement planning and 401k accounts online. However, additional online resources might include access to helpful articles and calculators. Live chats with financial professionals might also be available, or a hotline of sorts so that employees can call for advice on managing their accounts at any time.

What financial planning services do you provide to your employees? Do you think a business should be obligated to go beyond retirement planning and 401k advice? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Tax Credits