Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2022-06-10T09:29:56-05:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PFEEF?2020-06-08T12:22:34-05:00

Personal Financial Employee Education Fund (PFEEF) is a U.S. based organization that aims to increase financial literacy among employers and employees through on-site training programs and online modules that provide unbiased instruction in personal finance, investment, and retirement fundamentals.

What is the PFW Scale?2020-06-08T12:22:34-05:00


The Personal Financial Wellness Scale™ (PFW Scale™) is an eight item survey, which is a reliable measurement of perceived financial distress/financial well-being. Upon completion of the entire eight item PFW Scale™ the user is provided with a score, which has been scientifically determined to be a valid and reliable measure of one’s perceived personal financial wellness.  Research has shown that employees with high levels of financial stress are significantly less productive than employees with lower financial stress.



What is the purpose of PFEEF?2020-06-08T12:22:34-05:00

PFEEF’s mission is to provide support to organizations and their employees as they take charge of their financial well-being. The Employee Survey and Personal Financial Wellness Scale™, the Quality Providers List, as well as additional PFEEF Services enable employers to understand that employees who have their finances in order will be more productive. Organizations that empower their employees to take charge of their financial well-being show results that include improvement in workplace productivity, employee morale, and loyalty.



What other services does PFEEF offer employers?2020-06-08T12:22:34-05:00

PFEEF uses online modules for employee financial education that provide unbiased instruction in personal finance, investment, and retirement fundamentals. They focus on topics such as learning how to budget and save; interest (how to have it work for you rather than against you), as well as understanding how to begin early to plan for retirement.


How can employees improve their financial lives?2020-06-08T12:22:34-05:00

Good financial behaviors include:

  • Establishing measurable financial goals and realistic plans to achieve them
  • Building and maintaining an emergency fund equal to three months of take-home pay
  • Using a budget to control spending for regular and irregular expenses
  • Maintaining adequate insurance for property, liability, life and health exposures
  • Paying credit card charges in full every month and keeping non-mortgage debt payments below 15 percent of disposable monthly income
  • Saving for retirement through a tax-sheltered plan
  • Leaving retirement money where it belongs in retirement accounts prior to actually retiring
  • Recognizing that the closer one is to a financial goal that less risk should be taken
  • Preparing, and updating a will, advance directive documents and beneficiary and ownership designations on all financial accounts, as needed.
Should financial education be an employee benefit?2020-06-08T12:22:35-05:00

The employer’s benefit package is at the very core of financial success for an employee.Those who wisely choose among the benefit options save money and increase retirement savings, securing benefits that genuinely fit their needs. Such decisions lead to better personal money management behaviors that maximize the likelihood of financial success throughout their lives. However, the major reasons why employees do not make wise choices among benefit options are lack of basic financial literacy and financial stress. Research shows that one out of four workers report they are seriously distressed and dissatisfied with their financial matters. Financially unwell employees do not make the best decisions for themselves regarding retirement planning, health and dependent care, and other employee benefits.

Where should an employee financial education program begin?2016-09-07T23:18:05-05:00

Financial programs should be based on the level of employee financial distress The topics should differ based on employees’ reported levels of financial distress. The financial program provider working with the employer can also help make appropriate decisions about the financial program information that should be emphasized to specific groups of employees. The employee’s scores on the PFW Scale™ are on a continuum ranging from 1 (overwhelming financial distress/lowest financial well-being) to 10 (no financial distress/highest financial well-being).

The suggested topics for a quality financial program are listed below by category of financial stress:

High financial distress/poor financial wellness (PFW scores = 1, 2, 3, and 4)

  • Setting financial goals
  • Individual budgeting, credit education, and credit recovery counseling
  • Benefits information
  • Tax preparation education
  • Credit union and bank affiliations providing preferred services to employees
  • Coaching in how to begin preparing for a financially successful retirement

Average financial wellness/average financial distress (PFW 5 and 6)

  • Benefits information
  • Credit union and bank affiliations providing preferred services to employees
  • Money coaching on critical wealth management practices
  • Tax preparation education
  • Mortgage lender education for achievement of homeownership goals
  • Insurance education
  • Investment education and advice
  • Retirement planning education that explains the various components of post-work income and how to continue preparing for a financially successful retirement
  • Estate transfer workshops
  • Post-retirement financial education

High financial wellness/low financial distress (PFW 7, 8, 9, and 10)

  • Retirement planning education that explains the various components of post-work income and how to continue preparing for a financially successful retirement
  • Money coaching providing direct education on critical wealth management practices
  • Investment advice
  • Tax preparation education
  • Estate transfer workshops and individual counseling
  • Post-retirement financial education
Will a quality financial literacy program improve the “bottom line”?2016-09-07T23:18:05-05:00

PFEEF has sponsored and conducted research that shows the bottom line benefits of quality employee financial education programs. You can obtain an estimate of these benefits by having PFEEF do a customized review of the costs and benefits of an employer-based financial education program. You can obtain a more detailed calculation by contacting one of the quality providers featured on the PFEEF website. A detailed report will use your company’s data for absenteeism, turnover rates, training costs, and the PFW Scale™ results for your employees for a tailored made ROI calculation.

What communications strategies can be used in financial education?2016-09-07T23:18:05-05:00

PFEEF is all about motivating employees to take that first step toward a better financial life. The strategies are based on the successful Stages of Behavior Change Model developed and tested by many professionals and academics for more than 30 years. The model has proven very effective for employees who need financial education and who are ready for change.

What will a quality financial literacy program accomplish for employees?2016-09-07T23:18:05-05:00

A quality financial literacy program should help your employees learn and practice good financial behaviors. Over time these behaviors will result in positive changes in their financial lives. The changes include increased assets, decreased liabilities, increased net worth, reduced financial distress, and improved financial wellbeing. As a result they will be better able to reach their financial goals, including a successful retirement. A quality workplace financial program provides employees access to help with their overall financial fitness at every stage of their careers. This helps employees live better financial lives as well as maximize savings for retirement.People get ahead financially by practicing good financial behavior and sacrificing part of their current spending to save and invest.

How can employers help employees improve their personal financial behaviors?2016-09-07T23:18:05-05:00

Many employees realize that they have some financial behaviors that need changing. To succeed they must believe that they can successfully change those behaviors, and they must have a plan to change. Employers can help by giving employees easy access to quality financial programs. Such programs go well beyond simply explaining an employee benefits package and address the key decisions that must be made and how to integrate employee benefits into the broader pattern of good financial behaviors. A great place to begin is to have employees fill out PFEEF’s Personal Financial Wellness (PFW) Survey and Scale™ to determine their financial wellbeing.

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