Almost three in four employees, or 71%, in the US said money-related stress has negatively affected their work and personal lives, according to a survey published Wednesday.
“As COVID-19 concerns fade, inflation, geopolitics, and economic uncertainty have taken center stage — ushering in new anxieties,” Morgan Stanley said in its study.
“Employees are paying even greater attention to their financial benefits, and increasingly report that their needs are not often fully addressed,” according to the State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study.
Due to record inflation, 62% of employees said they had to reduce contributions to their savings, while 31% scaled back contributions to their 401(k) plans and 26% lowered paying down debts.
Around half, or 47%, of American employees also reported that they have never thought, or were unsure if they are allowed to reach out to their employer for assistance with their finances.
“Amid new challenges like persistently high inflation, many employees are seeking help managing their short- and long-term financial needs,” said Brian McDonald Head of Morgan Stanley at Work.
Anthony Bunnell, head of retirement at Morgan Stanley at Work, said “Employees are struggling to find a balance between long-term savings and immediate needs.”
Most employees, 84%, believe employers should be more involved with helping them through financial challenges, such as building more meaningful connections with their employees.
Even more US employees, 89%, note that companies need to improve helping them understand how to maximize financial benefits.
“Employees are increasingly paying closer attention to their benefits, especially with labor and expertise in such high demand among employers,” said Scott Whatley, Managing Director & Global Head of Equity Solutions in Morgan Stanley at Work.
More than half of employees believe that working with a financial advisor would be more advantageous, when asked about types of retirement planning assistance that would be most beneficial.
In addition, 93% of employees view retirement planning assistance as a priority when choosing where to work, according to the study.
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