LIMRA STUDY: WORKERS VALUE DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS MORE THAN RETIREMENT PLANNING

Workers understand that financial literacy is important, but they’re not at all confident about their own abilities along those lines. That’s according to a LIMRA study reported in Marlene Satter’s BenefitsPro.com article on June 9.

The study that found that, while 95 percent of workers believe it’s important to be financially literate, when it comes to their own understanding of financial products and services, just 35 percent say they are moderately or extremely knowledgeable. And they’re even less confident about their own ability to make important financial decisions, with just 28 percent calling themselves very confident.

Almost two out of every three employees have access to educational programs about the benefits their employers provide them, the study found, and 72 percent take advantage of those programs.

When it comes to retirement planning help, 60 percent say they have access to that through their employers. They also said they have access to programs on general budgeting (approximately 25 percent), debt management (also about 25 percent) or estate planning (also about 25 percent).

While a majority of workers who took advantage of such courses said they were satisfied with them, those who said they went through a debt management program were more likely to say they were extremely satisfied with the course (32 percent) than were those who took a retirement planning course. Only 17 percent of those who took the latter course said they were extremely satisfied with it.

In fact, out of all the types of courses offered to employees, retirement planning ranked dead last; more employees were extremely satisfied with the 11 other categories of financial education programs offered by employers than were satisfied with the retirement courses.

Workers also seem to be more interested in online financial education (49 percent said so) than in one-on-one meetings with financial advisors (approximately 33 percent), written materials (approximately 33 percent) or seminars (also about 33 percent). They want education, but how they want to receive it varies considerably.

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