The challenge of reaching millennials with financial education

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Four in 10 senior HR professionals agree financial struggles are affecting their employees, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. Almost as many indicated that their workers are finding today’s economic climate more difficult than before the recession.

However, less than 60% of employers provide any form of financial education to employees – usually because of prohibitive costs. Of employees that do have access to employer provided financial education programs, some demographics were more likely to use them than others. “Because the survey suggests that Baby Boomer and Generation X employees are most likely to participate in financial education, programs should be tailored to appeal to and help the workplace’s various generations,” noted Evren Esen, director of SHRM's Survey Programs.

A Guardian study of workplace benefits usage conducted in May echoes SHRM’s findings. Only a quarter of millennials actually use most of the financial education available through their employers.

Phyllis Falotico, Assistant Vice President, Group Marketing at Guardian, claimed such workers who ignore financial advice tended to fall behind their peers. “These employees are not getting the information they need on their own, so it’s important for employers to … effectively engage this group in a way that makes them take action,” she said.

Those surveyed by SHRM indicated that millennials were most likely to be interested in financial investment planning, followed by general budgeting advice. That stands in contrast to Generation X, which HR professionals indicated responded best to financial investment planning, then retirement planning.

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