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New Perk: a day off to take care of your financial health

Not many employers offer workers a day off with pay to put their financial lives in order. And probably still less offer up to $ 1,000 to each employee to sow an emergency savings account.

But Adam Moore, a 45-year technology contract manager in Atlanta, was relieved to have these two benefits last year when he learned that his wife was facing a $ 100,000 surgery to treat a tumor Benign but aggressive that damaged his jaw.


The Emergency Savings Account covered labor costs – and he made constructive use of his paid day off to “sit down and understand how to structure the financial strategy to manage” their situation Difficult, he said. Mr. Moore quickly changed his health insurance to be better protected.

Mr. Moore’s employer, SunTrust Banks, provided these benefits as part of a financial well-being program, which Bill Rogers, the bank’s CEO, decided to introduce About two and a half years after his astonishing accomplishment: Even his own workers – who had supposedly had more knowledge of money and in better financial form than most people – were making mediocre financial choices, 401 (k) shots. And many of them were ill-prepared for a financial emergency.

“We were exactly the same as all the Americans,” he said in an interview. “It’s hard to think about your 401 (k) match if you worry about your utility bill.”

After introducing a financial wellness program to its 24,000 workers, SunTrust acquired the welfare firm it originally hired for the position. And now it plans to offer the program, which relies on eight key financial steps, or “pillars”, for employers across the country.

In a press release announcing Tuesday its plans, SunTrust, based in Atlanta, called the financial welfare “the next frontier benefits for major employers.”

About 30 other organizations already offer the SunTrust program, including Home Depot, Delta Air Lines and the company that manufactures Little Debbie pickers. Ten others plan to introduce it, the bank said.

SunTrust enters the marketplace at a time when more employers are concerned about the financial stress of their employees and how this could affect their work performance. Nearly one-third of all employees are distracted by personal financial problems at work, according to a recent study by PwC, the consulting firm, nearly half of which spend three hours or more each week to manage personal finances at job.

A study by Alight, a benefits administrator, revealed that nearly 60 per cent of employers are likely to expand their financial welfare programs this year, almost twice as many as three years ago.

Although employers have stated the first reason for proposing the plans, it is fair to do so, many skilled workers may argue that it is at least possible, Pensions are collapsing, wage growth is slow And employees continue to assume an increasing share of medical costs.

The Home Depot, which employs 400,000 people, began presenting SunTrust’s “Momentum onUp” program to some workers in March.

“Stress is put to work, and it ultimately affects our employees in the store and the customer experience, and it also becomes a business problem,” said Don Buben, Benefits Manager at the retail giant. “It affects everyone from our hourly associates to the executive level.”

SunTrust’s plan covers “eight pillars of financial magnitude”, which largely consists of clarifying a person’s values and then structuring his financial life around what is important. The concept was created by Brian Nelson Ford, who founded the charity SunTrust acquired and is now working for the bank that develops the program.

“Many well-intentioned companies are focusing on the 401 (k),” Ford said, “but I do not think people lose their sleep and get divorced from the allocation of assets in their 401 (k) “.

The first pillar requires employees to launch an emergency fund called “financial trust account” for unexpected expenses. Not all companies choose to contribute to the account but SunTrust will match up to $ 1,000 once employees automate their own $ 40 monthly savings plan and achieve certain goals such as setting a budget


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