While there has been a lot of talk in recent years about financial wellness programs, Prudential research has found that they are only getting started. Eighty-four percent of intermediaries expect sales of financial wellness programs will expand in the next three to five years. Fifty-seven percent think it is very important for their firm to expand sales of these programs.

Seventy-nine percent think financial wellness programs are beneficial for employees. Seventy percent say employers are requesting them. Sixty-one percent think these programs are a way to leverage current client relationships, and 61% think they are a good way to grow their practice.

From the employer’s perspective, 79% say it is good to have a workforce that is financially secure, and 83% offer some type of financial wellness program.

Advisers believe that financial wellness programs should help workers with long-term financial goals, such as saving for retirement, and 22% think the top benefit for employers are that financial wellness programs can help their workers retire on time and securely.

However, 31% of advisers say the top challenges in selling financial wellness programs is cost, followed by the time it takes to sell a company on a financial wellness program (22%), lack of employer buy-in (21%), the inability to measure return on investment (ROI) (20%) and lack of awareness (8%).

Most advisers prefer to add capabilities piecemeal (33%), however nearly as many (26%) develop an overarching strategy for a financial wellness program.

In conclusion, Prudential says that “financial wellness programs provide a timely opportunity for intermediaries to expand their relationships with employers. While many intermediaries appear to view financial wellness programs as a future opportunity, they may be underestimating the extent to which employers are already offering financial wellness programs in some capacity. Intermediaries may find the opportunity greatest when they work with employers to establish a clear definition of financial wellness that fits the individual employer’s needs and workforce strategy.”

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