3 in 10 American workers struggle

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ARLINGTON, Va., June 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Three in 10 (30%) American workers struggle financially and more than two in five (43%) workers struggle to meet their basic needs, study finds from the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey conducted by WTW (WTW), a leading global consulting, brokerage and solutions company. The survey also revealed that a significant number of employees deferred medical care last year due to time constraints, COVID-19 concerns and cost reasons.

The financial well-being of employees has been deteriorating since the start of the pandemic. According to the survey, more employees are living paycheck to paycheck – 41% this year compared to 38% in 2019. Among workers earning $100,000 or more, the number of employees living off a paycheck to paycheck has doubled from 18% in 2019 to 36% this year. More than half of workers earning less than $50,000 (52%), single parents (53%) and those in poor or fair health (57%) also live paycheck to paycheck . Additionally, employees who live pay-to-pay are almost twice as likely to leave their employer for a 5% raise (48%) as those who don’t live pay-to-pay ( 29%). The survey of more than 9,600 American workers was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022.

Financial problems are widespread, according to the survey. Many workers said they had difficulty accessing or paying for housing (23%), health care (22%) or healthy food (19%), while almost half suffered a financial shock in the process. course of the past year. Three in 10 (31%) incurred major medical costs, while 23% were furloughed or had their hours reduced. About one in seven people (15%) have been the victim of a financial fraud or scam, while 13% have suffered major expenses due to a divorce or separation. These financial shocks could have led to financial moves that could undermine employees’ long-term security, including taking out a home equity loan or downsizing their home (23%); take out a 401(k) loan (26%); or being unable to pay their mortgage, rent or utility bills (36%).

“The pandemic continues to affect the financial well-being of American workers,” said Mark Smrecek, senior director, Retirement, WTW. “The link between financial stability and general well-being has become even more tenuous as employees worry about inflation, economic instability and workplace challenges. Employees are now turning to their employers for help. Employers, in turn, can help employees weather the storm and improve their financial stability by considering wellness when considering programs.

According to the survey, more than a third of respondents (36%) said employer-provided resources had helped improve their financial situation. That’s up from 27% in 2017. Additionally, nearly half of respondents (46%) want financial apps and tools to be an integral part of their benefits programs.

Employees who postponed care suffered

The survey also found a strong link between healthcare affordability and delayed care. Four in 10 employees (40%) said they had postponed medical care in the past year. This includes 28% who delayed or canceled a medical procedure or appointment, or treatment, and 17% who did not fill a prescription. One in five respondents (20%) said their healthcare provider had delayed or canceled a procedure, appointment or treatment. When asked what made them delay care, 25% said they couldn’t afford it and 23% were unsure of the costs.

The survey also found that employees with significant difficulty paying for health care are more likely to suffer due to delayed care. Overall, one-third of respondents (33%) whose care was postponed or canceled by themselves or a provider said their health suffered; however, of those who found it very difficult to afford care, more than half (58%) said their health suffered.

“The ability to access and pay for health care has always been a top priority for employers and employees. As organizations plan their future benefit offerings, in light of an expected increase in medical inflation, we anticipate most employers will prioritize affordability and continue to focus on utilization. expanded virtual care, including telemedicine, as an integral part of their healthcare strategy to provide cost-effective, high-quality care to their employees and families,” said Regina Ihrke, Senior Director, Healthcare and Benefits, WTW.

About the survey

The 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022. Respondents include 9,658 U.S. employees from large and medium-sized private companies, representing a wide range of industries.

About WTW

At WTW ( WTW), we provide data and knowledge-based solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. By leveraging the global vision and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations refine their strategy, build organizational resilience, motivate their people and maximize their performance.

By working hand-in-hand with our clients, we uncover opportunities for lasting success and provide insight that moves you.

Learn more at www.wtwco.com.

Media contact:

Ed Emerman: +1 609 240 2766
[email protected]

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