Willis Towers Watson Releases Results of 2017/18 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey

Willis Towers Watson recently released results from their ongoing Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. The 2017/18 results showed a marked decline in the financial satisfaction of U.S. workers, accompanied by both financial and health-related stress. Worsening financial well-being is having a negative effect on productivity, employee engagement, and employee health.

financial situation graph

The level of financial satisfaction of U.S. employees dropped by 13 percent from the last study, from 48% confidence to 35%. Other results indicate that 45% of U.S. employees now live paycheck to paycheck. Employees are less assured about their ability to retire and many intend to work into their 70s.

Financial well-being is becoming a near-term priority for many employers, as are initiatives to improve employee health. According to the report, employee response to initiatives is mixed, with a majority of employees surveyed indicating that they prefer to manage their health and well being on their own.

The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey seeks to understand employee perspective on benefits programs and identify benefits that employees need and value most. This edition surveyed 31,240 respondents in 12 developed and 10 developing nations.

Key findings of the 2017/18 Survey:

  1. employee finance pressure imageBenefits matter more than ever. Employees’ long-standing desire for greater security continues to intensify.
  2. ƒƒEmployees – particularly younger employees –want more benefit choices. Those with choice and flexibility today are twice as likely to feel their benefit program meets their needs. In many countries, employees are increasingly concerned about their finances, both immediate and long term.
  3. ƒƒMore than one-fifth of employees expect to still be working at age 70 or later. Over 60% say their employer retirement plan is their primary means of saving for retirement.
  4. Employees look to their employers for support in improving their health and well-being, and becoming more financially secure.ƒ
  5. Although companies are responding with programs that support physical, emotional, financial and social well-being, employees are lukewarm about what they have seen so far.
  6. ƒƒEmployee engagement in well-being programs remains low. Designing programs that leverage the workplace environment and promote the use of new technologies is strongly linked to more positive attitudes about a company’s well-being efforts and to health engagement.

The survey report is available for download on the Willis Towers Watson website.

Source: 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, Willis Towers Watson, November 2017.