Using Dollars to Make Sense of Financial Wellness
by Edward Lynch
Anyone even remotely involved with employee benefits, especially those handling health care and retirement plan matters, is aware that “financial wellness” for employees is one of the big trends. What they also know is that the term encompasses a wide range of services and offerings, some of excellent quality and others rather thin and of doubtful value.
Here at FPG, in conjunction with our sister advisory firm Dietz & Lynch Capital, we’re taking a close look at these programs. This post is our first report on specific programs and resources we find especially valuable.
Quantifying the costs and benefits of financially secure employees
“If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist” is an expression I often use to make the point that, in evaluating investments at least, data is primary. A corollary that might apply in the employee benefits arena is “If it can’t be priced, does it have any value?” Applied to “financial wellness” that’s a good place to begin.
Employee benefits delivery is dynamic if nothing else. Challenges and opportunities emerge and recede; the benefits dollar can be spread only so far and still be effective. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quantify the likely benefits of a particular course of action?
With respect to “financial wellness” programs, that now can be done very efficiently and effectively. Viability℠, a service of MassMutual Financial Group, offers employers a way to evaluate potential cost liabilities in their existing benefits program while offering specific, actionable recommendations of steps you can take to reduce that exposure. Further, it also quantifies the potential benefits of each action or group of actions.
Looking at your entire employee population, Viability℠ evaluates each employee’s (grouped both by age cohort and as a whole) likely readiness for retirement at your target retirement age - say 65 - as well as earlier (ages 62-64) and later (ages 66-70). Using that information, as well as your specific health care cost and actual retirement age data, the report evaluates the potential savings (or costs) of your employees being ready to retire earlier and later than the target age.
The information is presented in a detailed report that incorporates specific actions to be taken as well as projections of retirement readiness improvements and benefits dollar savings for each age cohort over up to a forty year horizon.
Simple to initiate
If you’re thinking this is one more project you don’t have time for, stop. Six data points and one sanitized spreadsheet are all that’s needed to have Viability℠ do the analysis for you. All of the information is already in your payroll and benefits records.
Why is Viability℠ free of charge?
MassMutual delivers its services in association with registered investment advisors and professional consultants like us. In the highly competitive benefits marketplace, firms like MassMutual distinguish themselves by innovation and by creating and delivering valuable services that help us do a better job for our clients. None of the services FPG or our sister advisory firm, Dietz & Lynch Capital utilize and offer entails quid pro quo arrangements.
Minimum employee threshold
Viability℠ is offered to employers with 100 or more employees. Some exceptions are possible and are considered case-by-case.
Available only through firms like FPG
You cannot obtain the analysis directly. For more information or to begin the process, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the Viability℠ information deck and checklist. Complete and return it to us, along with the spreadsheet with PII (Personal Identification Information) removed. Once we’ve received the report, typically in a few weeks, we’ll be in touch to review it with you.