There’s been a 6 per cent improvement in the Financial Wellbeing Index for the UK workforce but with underlying challenges, including an increased vulnerability in savings, investments, and retirement planning.
The UK workforce’s financial health is examined in Close Brothers Asset Management’s report, “Spotlight on UK Financial Wellbeing,” which shows rising financial worries among workers and their effects on the workplace.
The Financial Wellbeing Index indicates an overall improvement of 6 per cent when comparing pre-pandemic 2019 and post-pandemic 2023 values. Notable improvements include a 26 per cent improvement in financial fitness for protection and a 37 per cent increase in budgeting and planning. From 12 per cent in 2019 to 7 per cent in 2023, fewer people reported having debt problems, with 50 per cent saying they had none.
The positive overall score belies the difficulty underneath. Particularly in savings, investments, and retirement planning, where there was a 30 per cent decline, vulnerability has increased. Concerns about money have increased, as seen by the total score dropping noticeably from 56 to 50.
There’s an impact on workplace wellbeing as early 28 per cent of workers are dissatisfied with their financial situation, 36 per cent worry about money frequently or usually, and 43 per cent feel anxious as a result of money worries. Around 87 per cent of workers are concerned about money at work, especially younger generations in the 25–34 and 18–24 age groups.
The research reveals a support gap for financial wellbeing, with only half of businesses having a strategy in place despite the obvious necessity given the continuous difficulties associated with rising costs of living.
Wealth Planning managing director Daniel Swift says: “Whilst the data shows an improvement in overall financial wellbeing, there are still key areas of vulnerability that are impacting employees’ wellbeing. Wellbeing is multi-faceted, comprising physical, mental, financial and social considerations.
“Each is important in its own right, but each also affects the other. While many companies have well-developed strategies in place to support physical and mental wellbeing, financial wellbeing is often neglected. Our research shows the impact of this, with high levels of money worries and anxiety amongst employees. Without a joined-up approach, companies risk treating the symptoms and not the cause.”
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