METLIFE HELPING EMPLOYEES TACKLE BROADER RANGE OF FINANCIAL AND RETIREMENT CHALLENGES
Turnkey PlanSmartSM Solution Lets Employers Meet Diverse Needs Of Employees and Emphasize ‘Financial Wellness’
New York,NY - June 9, 2011 – With the majority of individuals now shouldering responsibility for their own retirement and financial planning, employees are increasingly seeking assistance from employers for help through financial education in the workplace, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study. To meet this emerging trend, MetLife, the nation’s largest life insurer (based on life insurance in force) and a leading provider of employee benefits, announced today a broad expansion of its free workplace financial and retirement educational programs with the introduction of the PlanSmart series.
PlanSmart provides financial education to employees of all ages at no cost to the employer or employee, and it builds upon the strong success of MetLife’s comprehensive retirewise® program for employees, now offered at more than 600 companies and nonprofits nationwide. In addition to retirewise, the PlanSmart program also includes workshops on managing credit, college funding, estate planning, financial solutions for families who care for dependents with special needs and more. After completion of the workshop, employees who want additional assistance are given the option to consult individually with a MetLife professional on site or in the convenience of their homes.
PlanSmart also includes decision support assistance for employees faced with life changes and who may need education and guidance regarding their group life benefits. Transition Solutions aids employees who have a change in their group life coverage for any reason, such as retirement or leaving a company. Another valuable resource is access to MetLife’s Delivering The Promise® program, where experienced MetLife professionals help beneficiaries work through often-complex claims and benefit issues following a death in the family.
Few Are Confident About Decisions
“The economic and financial turmoil of recent years has made it even tougher for employees to create a workable retirement income strategy and to envision financial challenges holistically,” said Michael K. Farrell, MetLife’s executive vice president, U.S. Distribution. “We know from our research that few employees are confident that they are making the right financial decisions for their families and want decision support in the convenience of the workplace, which has really become the foundation for such decision making. PlanSmart’s robust personal finance and retirement planning offerings provide essential building blocks to help individuals and families reach their goals. Understanding benefits offered through employers and ways to supplement them to meet personal needs is a base line for creating a strong financial safety net,” added Farrell.
More employers are beginning to understand that employees’ financial concerns can impact productivity. According to the Employee Benefits Trends Study, 78% of employers say that employees worried about personal financial problems are less productive at work. Employees want help – 52% report being interested in receiving financial advice and guidance through the workplace, and this increases to 81% among those who acknowledge that financial concerns have impacted their workplace attendance or productivity.
“It’s no secret that Americans are dramatically under-insured and under-saved for retirement. Via relationships with more than 66,000 employers of all sizes and our nationwide network of highly trained professionals, we are helping to deliver actionable workplace financial and retirement education,” continued Farrell. “Employees unquestionably want help, and employers are more aware than ever of the important role that benefits play in attracting and retaining talent. Workplace financial education programs add to satisfaction with benefits and to increased employee loyalty,” he added. “This is becoming increasingly significant as employers seek to contain costs and to maximize the return on investment of their benefits programs.”
’“PlanSmart addresses employees’ needs for objective, straightforward guidance to navigate personal financial challenges, from day-to-day ones like managing credit to meeting longer-term expenses and goals, such as planning for a child’s college education or for retirement,” added Gary L. Simpson, vice president, MetLife. “Workplace education opportunities like these help to foster a sense of ‘financial wellness’ among employees, which in turn contributes to a more dedicated and productive workforce.”
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.