Insights for Your Plan and Employees
Presented by Patterson Smith Associates, LLC
Q3  2016
In This Issue
Featured Article
  Brexit: What the U.K.'s Vote to Leave the EU Means

U.K. to leave the European Union (EU) has rocked markets around the world, including here in the U.S.  In the immediate aftermath of the vote, futures were down significantly, showing that the concern is real. You may well share that concern.

Join Our Mailing List
3 Elm Street, Suite 201
Morristown, NJ 07960

(800) 572-8859




As a 401(k) sponsor or administrator, we hope that you find our simple, easy to understand newsletter as a helpful resource to keep you informed.
Beyond RetireReady - Focusing on Financial Wellness
Financial wellness programs are becoming an important part of today's benefits packages. There is a growing trend to help plan participants and employees consider and address all aspects of their financial health, not just their savings and contribution rates. For example, if participants are struggling to manage their debt, they would be unlikely to contribute what is needed to reach their retirement income goals, so they would need a different kind of support.
Leading retirement plan sponsors are focusing their attention on giving participants a more holistic understanding of financial planning concepts to help find the right balance for each employee as he or she manages his or her short-terms needs versus long-term goals. In addition, employers are adding programs and resources to help employees manage the stress and meet the financial challenges that might get in the way of achieving true financial wellness.
Employers know from experience that a "healthy" employee may be affected by nonhealth factors and that emotional and financial health also need to be considered. Employers also recognize that the benefits of financially secure employees-such as experiencing lower levels of stress and being less distracted at work- can improve productivity and morale. Employees who are financially secure are also more likely to be able to retire closer to the standard age, reducing the need for older workers to continue working beyond when they would prefer to retire and therefore needing to use less employer-sponsored health care services. In addition, with a more financially fit employee base, employers may have more satisfied employees who might be more loyal to the companies where they work and more engaged in their daily tasks.
In the past, the most common plan feature offered by employers was education on the basics of investing 1 .  Recognizing that employees need to consider all aspects of their financial situation before implementing or making changes to their planning and investment strategy, many employers have expanded the breadth of educational topics they offer 2   to include:
  • Basics of financial makets (43%)
  • Budegting (34%)
  • Debt management (33%)
  • Financial planning (33%)
  • Health care spending (31%)
  • Saving for life stages (28%)
  • Prioritizing savings (27%)
  So if your company is looking to increase your employee's overall financial wellness, start by broadening your educational offerings. Topics such as the ones listed above are great for engaging different segments of your employee base. We encourage you to provide the information in various formats (e.g., in-person education, as well as online resources) to help ensure that employees can access content in the best format for them.
Before you launch into significant outreach, we also recommend that you measure the overall financial wellness of your employees. By doing a quick survey of their needs and concerns, you will be able to focus your early efforts on the topics that interest them most. Furthermore, by gauging employee sentiment, you will have a baseline against which to compare in quantifying the impact of your
wellness support.
Lastly, like any multifaceted program or initiative, financial wellness is not a one-and-done type of thing. In order to impact the long-term overall wellness of your employees, you will need to continually evolve and support your wellness program as the needs and demographics of your employee base shift.
1  2015 Hot Topics in Retirement Study, Aon Hewitt
2 2016 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being , Aon Hewitt
Health and Wealth Go Hand in Hand
Incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle can help to improve your overall health, but some good habits can also save money and improve finances, such as:  
  • Taking walking breaks. Most people spend too much time sitting, and this increases the risk of contracting many chronic diseases. Make a point of taking walking breaks. For example, get up and talk to a co-worker instead of e-mailing him or her. It will get your blood flowing and may in the long run save money in medical costs.
  • Drink more water. Water is the best option for quenching your thirst. It can also save you money and reduce weight gain. Also, skip the plastic water bottles as a favor to the environment.
Exercise with friends. Save the money you spend on gym membership and join a local bike group or running club instead. Enjoy the countless benefits of exercise with the built-in accountability from friends.
Take Note
Did you know?
  • Almost 40% of plan participants want more financial  education at work.3
  • 45% of employees find dealing with their financial situation stressful.4
  • 63% of pre-retirees feel that their company doesn't provide sufficient guidance to transition to retirement or don't know that their company does provide such guidance.5 
2016 Participant Survey , PLANSPONSOR
2015 Employee Financial Wellness Survey , PwC 
2013 Workplace Benefits Report , Bank of America Merrill Lynch
We Can Help
Our firm is ready to provide the ideas, guidance, and strategies necessary for you to prepare for what lies ahead-and to help your employees get on track for retirement. If you would like to review any aspect of your retirement plan, we're here to assist you.
PSA logo - no tag line  
3 Elm Street, Suite 201
Morristown, NJ 07960
Tel: (800) 572-8859/(973)326-9300
Fax: (888)469-1922

Securities and Advisory Services Offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Patterson Smith Associates, LLC.