Financial education can be a significant benefit for both government agencies, the systems they serve, and especially for the public sector employees. Financial literate employees are less likely to end up with financial woes. Not only does financial stress affect work productivity and absenteeism, but it may also mean fewer requests for salary advances or hardship withdrawals from company 401(k)s.
A survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that a majority of Americans have less than $25,000 saved or invested for retirement. In North Carolina, more than half of its active employees do not take advantage of supplemental retirement income programs. With more North Carolina employees retiring (a 16 percent increase in one year) state and local employees could be missing out on the opportunity for a secure financial future. (1)
North Carolina’s State Treasurer Janet Cowell is concerned with the struggles employees face not only preparing for retirement but for any situation that could put someone at financial risk. Cowell embraced educating government employees on the financial tools available. She’s working with her financial literacy director to make employee benefits information easier to find, understand and use.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) also reiterates commitment to Financial Literacy. OPM’s divisions, offices, and their employees implement the programs and deliver the services that enable government agencies to meet its strategic goals. (2)
Financial education for employees can be a budget-friendly investment with easy setup and lasting value. Many large companies recognize the benefits of offering workers some financial education, especially online programs. These programs have had positive results and led to higher employee participation rates in retirement savings plans.
- Employee Benefit Research Institute. Retrieved 6 May 2017 from https://www.ebri.org/
- Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 6 May 2017 from https://www.opm.gov/about-us/our-mission-role-history/what-we-do/