5 Free Things Great Companies Do to Reduce Employees’ Financial Stress

by Matt Jones, CPA

When I drafted this article in February 2020, there was a “war” for talent. The economy was booming and the stock market was hitting all-time highs. I shared these ideas as a way for employers to attract employees. Now, I’m sharing these for employees.

Salary increases are projected to be lower this year. Make the most of the job you have by taking advantage of all the benefits your company offers. If you aren’t sure if these benefits are available, ask the amazing people in your HR department.

Employers are often the first place employees look for help so here are some examples of how companies can provide assistance. When I say these are free, I mean that they don’t cost the company anything to offer these. Numbers 1, 2 and 4 below are free to employees as well.

Free Ways for Employers to Support Employees’ Financial Wellbeing

  1. Support financial wellbeing by encouraging the use of a financial tracking using a tool like my free one.
  2. Educate on retirement and the value of an employer 401(k) match if it exists. A retirement plan is the most requested financial benefit. While a retirement contribution match isn’t free to the company, it shouldn’t cost anything to educate employees since most retirement plan advisors are glad to come out and talk with employees on a group or individual basis. Advisors are typically paid based on how much money is in the plan, so they’re glad to educate and encourage more savings.
  3. Consider small, short-term loan programs like Even.com (I have no affiliation with or payments from Even. They recruited me for a job and I respect their mission). By definition, an employee loan is paid back through payroll deductions, but they can be confusing and subject to certain regulations – a service like Even could help with that and companies can choose to contribute to the cost or not. Either way, financial stress is a HUGE problem and one of the leading causes of employee burnout.
  4. Student Loan Refinancing. When partnering with an employer, student loan refinancers will often give preferred rates, cash back, or easier applications, often at no cost to an employer. My favorite is Splash Financial, a Cleveland-based company.
  5. Voluntary insurance policies such as life insurance and short/long-disability. These policies can be 100% employee-paid or funded by employers. The rates tend to be much better and the terms more favorable when offered through an employer. These can cost the company $0, but must be tracked and initiated by the employer. Think of this as group purchasing power.

Some of these can be done individually with good results (student loan refinancing, life insurance, retirement planning, etc.). But, when these are done through the company the probability of success is higher and the costs are significantly lower.


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