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Wealth Wizards Account Director, Phil Blows’ two passions include championing innovative technology and getting a better deal for employees. He believes that workplace pension advice should no longer be an aspirational offering and employers should empower their employees to take more of an active role in their pensions.

Key takeaways

  • Many employers see offering financial education, whether in the form of seminars or online content, as the best way to help their employees plan for the future.
  • Financial wellbeing programs are currently one of the most popular reward initiatives as we go into 2017.
  • Employees, even after efforts to educate them, find managing their debt and planning for retirement complex and have little confidence in making financial decisions that would improve their outlook.

What takes passing 6 exams and roughly 180 hours of study?…… Becoming a diploma qualified financial adviser.

I should also stress that this is the minimum criteria in order to be able to give people advice on their financial future, and many advisers have put in considerably more time to learn about the ever changing financial landscape.

The reason I raise these stats is not to lord praise on the financial adviser community, but to simply highlight how difficult it is to get people to the point where they can make informed decisions about money.

Employers have woken up to the fact that the impending Pensions crisis in the U.K is something that will affect every business, regardless of size or industry, and are now investing in their employees to avoid expensive issues in the near future.

This is where financial education comes in. Many employers see offering financial education, whether in the form of seminars or online content, as the best way to help their employees plan for the future. It is a really encouraging sign that employers recognise the risk inherent in a workforce with too much debt and too little saving, but how do we know financial education is even working?

There is little in the way of a benchmark as to what constitutes a good investment in the financial health of employees. Currently, when we speak to employers and ask them what a successful project that focuses on financial wellbeing would mean for their business, they are unable to provide a metric that they are consistently measuring. In the majority of cases seminar attendance or website traffic are the only metrics that are being monitored. However, neither of these identifies whether anyone actually takes any action when they leave the classroom or website.

Financial wellbeing programs are currently one of the most popular reward initiatives as we go into 2017, and I would encourage that as they are launched we focus on metrics that really matter to the health of the workforce, namely the level of debt and Pension contribution rates.

This is where financial education is great to highlight that there is an issue but the inclusion of financial advice is essential to driving intelligent transactions. Current financial education appears to do little to drive action by employees with the correlation between education programs and Pension contribution rates scarce.

Employees, even after efforts to educate them, find managing their debt and planning for retirement complex and have little confidence in making financial decisions that would improve their outlook. This is where Wealth Wizards end-to-end solution can help.

By giving employees access to automated, online advice that assesses debts, income and savings, and then builds a financial plan for your employees, you can improve financial health with minimal effort. What makes our solution effective is that it integrates with existing providers and takes all of the legwork out of the transaction. As an online adviser we are able to make changes to employees Pension investments and Contribution rates on their behalf saving them time and effort. Debt can be consolidated and tackled with a range of online tools and budgeting advice.

Our advanced management information tools will highlight segments of the population where levels of saving are inadequate and allow you to target your communications and service offerings accordingly.

So going back to the stats about financial advisers, no workplace financial education program can get your employees to the point where they know more than a fully trained financial adviser. However, technology automating advice has made it more accessible and affordable than ever.

By giving your employees access to a tried and tested solution, you can make a real impact on the lives of your employees and ensure they are making decisions backed by fully regulated advice.

The average U.K Pension pot at the point of retirement is only providing £3,810 (IRESS 2015 data) of income. Wealth Wizards are here to change this and help people plan for a more comfortable retirement.

Get in touch with Phil to discuss how Wealth Wizards can help your employees with cost-effective and regulated advice, email Philip.blows@wealthwizards.com or call 0800 031 6585.

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