How Much Do Financial Wellness Programs Cost? A Helpful Guide

Financial wellness programs are gaining popularity among employers who want to support their employees’ financial well-being. But how much do these programs actually cost? The answer isn’t always straightforward.

Costs can vary widely depending on factors like company size, program customization, and the level of support offered. So, what can you expect to pay for a financial wellness program? Let’s break it down.

How Much Do Financial Wellness Programs Cost on Average?

Does your company need a financial wellness program? If you have employees, then the answer is yes. Here are just a few reasons why:

If you can offer a financial wellness program that educates and helps your employees tackle financial challenges, then everybody wins. It is no wonder that Wellable found that 68 percent of employers plan to spend more on financial wellness this year. 

Of course, not all financial wellness programs are alike, nor should they be. Different demographics require different types of information delivered in different ways. So, the key is finding a program that addresses your employee’s needs at a cost that addresses your bottom line. Because program offerings vary widely, so does the cost of these programs.

 A survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute showed that 43 percent of employers spend less than $50 per employee per year (PEPY), but 21 percent spend more than $500. So, let’s examine the main factors that affect the price of a comprehensive financial wellness program. The more employees a company has, the less expensive it is per employee to have a financial wellness program. This is due to economies of scale, which simply means that the cost per unit goes down as the scale increases. The main reason for this decrease in PEPY has to do with the program’s administration. There are several administrative functions that do not take more time or cost more money as the number of participants in the program increases. So, when the number of employees increases, but some costs stay fixed, the PEPY decreases.

Beyond Retirement: Why Customizable Financial Wellness Programs Win Big for Employers and Employees

Although 80 percent of companies state that they offer a workplace financial wellness program and most feel that the plan is a quality plan, a recent PwC survey shows that only 24 percent of employees believe this is true. 

In many cases, this is due to the lack of customization, with employers assuming that offering a retirement plan and education on that plan is all their employees want or need. The truth is that employees need help with a wide variety of financial issues and the chosen program should be customizable and able to focus on both their short and long-term needs. Additionally, you’ll want a financial wellness program can be customized according to your company needs, with different branding options, a variety of ways to launch the program, various participant recognition options such as certificates, incentives, and/or special events and customizable questions for surveys, assessments and wellness indicators. Although a customizable plan costs more than a generic one, the return on investment will be greater as well.

What’s Included in the Cost of a Financial Wellness Program?

Some financial wellness programs offer account management. This can be a computer program that compiles data and makes suggestions for implementation, a team of people from the financial wellness company, or even a dedicated person who always works with you and your employees. Of course, more personalized services are more costly. Some of the functions of an account manager could include:

  • Training key stakeholders
  • Launch preparation
  • Creating timelines and promotion calendars
  • Managing outgoing communications and promotions
  • Helping you and your employees with questions or concerns about the program
  • Maintaining records
  • Providing reports on real-time deliverables
  • Monitoring employee satisfaction and behavior change

If you choose a program without account management, you might want to check out this post on the 3 Crucial Things that Most Financial Wellness Programs Overlook. Also, be sure that you review your program at least yearly to determine its effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Based on the findings of the Corporate Insight’s 2018 survey, you might want to look at these two metrics:

Where to Invest in Your Financial Wellness Program and Where to Save

Surveys found that the total cost of wellness programs is between $150 and $1200 per employee per year. Obviously, this is a huge range. The reason for the large range has to do with which wellness program options an employer wants to include. Let me explain all this a little differently. 

Many wellness vendors (including WellSteps) are offering a comprehensive wellness program that uses a proprietary wellness platform. An effective employee wellness program can cost between $36 and $90 per employee per year. Add biometric screening, telephonic health coaching, and robust incentives, including benefits-based incentives, and you can see how the cost grows dramatically. 

As diverse as your employees are, so too are the gaps in their financial understanding. You may also want to check to see whether a third-party provider you already use, such as a payroll service, offers financial wellness resources as part of its services. This can help with overall benefits budgeting.

Save on Generic Plans

Not all financial wellness programs are alike, and businesses have different budgets to devote to such a resource. As such, the costs of a financial wellness program can depend on many factors, including company size, how much you want to customize the program, account management and support features, and whether you want employees to be able to access advisors or personalized help. Generic, one-size-fits-all plans will be less expensive, but may not meet the needs of your unique workforce. Finding the right balance is key.

Understanding the ROI of Your Financial Wellness Program Investment

Financial stress is costing businesses $4.7 billion a week. By implementing a financial wellness program, you will not only help your employees’ financial health but also help your company’s bottom line and save money. A financial wellness program will also benefit your employees’ mental health by reducing overall stress and providing them with the financial education they might lack. Regardless of the upfront corporate wellness program cost, many employers are seeing the benefits of these programs in the form of reduced health care costs and increased employee engagement.

Metrics to Track

Other metrics to track the ROI of your financial wellness program investment include:

Selling Your Financial Wellness Program as a Worthwhile Investment

Financial stress is costing businesses $4.7 billion a week. Companies looking to implement a financial corporate wellness program have a variety of options to choose from, each with its own cost. For example, a company may choose to offer employees access to online resources or financial education programs, which are often very cost-effective. On the other hand, some companies opt for a more comprehensive wellness program to really get to the root of their employees’ financial planning issues.

Reduced Healthcare Costs

Those using a financial wellness program decreased their healthcare costs by 4.5 percent or about $271.50 per employee.

Employee Benefit

Surveys found here, here, and here report that the total cost of wellness program is between $150 and $1200 per employee per year. Obviously, this is a huge range. The reason for the large range has to do with which wellness program options an employer wants to include.

Reduced Sick Days

Employees with high financial stress take 1.75 sick days for each sick day taken by non-stressed employees.15

The Benefits of Offering a Financial Wellness Program

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to investing in corporate financial wellness programs is balancing cost and value. Companies want to provide their employees with comprehensive financial wellness programs that improve their financial health and help them achieve their financial goals, but they also want to make sure they are getting a good return on investment. To help companies navigate these waters, we have some tips for saving costs and making the most of their financial wellness program investment. Some financial wellness programs offer employees access to certified financial planners who can provide personalized advice and guidance. This can be a valuable benefit for employees who may not have access to such resources on their own.

Reducing Financial Stress

Financial stress is the main source of stress for Americans, and it can have a significant impact on employee productivity and well-being. By offering a financial wellness program, companies can help their employees reduce financial stress and improve their overall financial health. According to PwC’s 2021 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 63% of employees said that their financial stress has increased since the start of the pandemic. By offering a financial wellness program, companies can help their employees navigate these challenging times and reduce their financial stress.

FAQs in Relation to How Much Do Financial Wellness Programs Cost

Are wellness programs expensive?

Costs vary widely based on features and scale. Some start low, but more comprehensive plans spike the price.

What does financial wellness programs cover?

They tackle budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management to boost employees’ fiscal health and peace of mind.

How do I start a financial wellness program?

Pick goals that align with your team’s needs. Then find a provider who fits those aims like a glove.

What is the value of financial wellness?

Better money habits mean less stress for your crew. That leads to happier, more productive workers all around.

Conclusion

The cost of financial wellness programs can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per employee, depending on the scope and features of the program. Shelling out a bit more at the start might seem steep, but when you weigh it against cutting down on money worries, boosting how much gets done and keeping your team happy for longer, it feels like money well spent.

When budgeting for a financial wellness program, consider your company’s unique needs and goals. Look for a provider that offers flexible pricing options and customizable features to ensure you’re getting the most value for your investment. Imagine having workers who are not just happy but also super productive because you’ve given them tools to handle their finances better.

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