Connecting Employee Health to Wealth
New analysis from The Principal links wellness programs to retirement planning
May 1, 2012 (Des Moines, Iowa) – An increasing number of employees view the solution to retirement savings as a simple adjustment – they plan to work longer. But in reality nearly two-thirds of current retirees report leaving earlier than planned due to health or disability issues according to the recent EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey.
To help employers better prepare their employees for retirement, the Principal Financial Group® introduces a new approach to employee benefits. In the white paper, Wellness = Retirement Savings (PDF: 297 KB), employers gain valuable insight into the critical connection between health and wealth when it comes to helping employees plan for retirement
“Health and wealth go hand in hand. Without good health, acquiring significant wealth and being able to enjoy it through retirement becomes more difficult to achieve for employees,” said Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group. “It’s a matter of a shift in thinking. Instead of only focusing on saving more for retirement, employers can put a much greater emphasis on helping employees stay healthy so they spend less on health care. Spending less means they will potentially have more to save.”
According to the analysis, a moderately healthy retired couple will need $250,000 to pay for unreimbursed health care expenses during an average retirement, yet the average retirement balance is barely over $25,000. Because there can be a strong tie between health and retirement savings, employers have an opportunity to help employees improve both.
“Employers understand an effective wellness plan may help reduce health care costs, but plans may also help boost the success of their retirement plans as well.” said Dukes. “We propose employers make wellness part of their workplace culture and provide a healthier work environment that enables employees to potentially spend less on health care.”
Healthy employees are generally associated with greater productivity, higher morale and more loyalty. For employees, wellness plans can help reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses leaving more discretionary income for retirement savings. The white paper provides considerations for employers implementing wellness plans including:
- Aspects of a good wellness plan
- Addressing health and wealth management through total wellness
- Best practices for structuring a wellness plan.
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About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®) is a global investment management leader including retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $364.1 billion in assets under management and serves some 17.3 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.
- “Funding Savings Needed for Health Expenses for Persons Eligible for Medicare,” EBRI Issue Brief, December 2010.
- 2012 annual Retirement Confidence Survey.
- “The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
- As of March 31, 2012.