man raising bar with dollar signs on it in chalk 76 percent of workers surveyed said they’d bemore likely to stay with a company that offered financial benefits.(Photo: Shutterstock)

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Even for workers on the lower end of the pay scale, employerscan take steps to improve their financial wellness that are neither complex norcostly.

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So says a new study from Commonwealth, “Rise with the Raise:The Promise of Straightforward Employer Benefits for BuildingLower-Wage Employee Security.”

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The study looks at the effects on workers making under $60,000per year of such methods as savings accounts, splittingdirect-deposit paychecks between checking and savings accounts,automatic bill-paying and access to low-interest loans.

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One very simple tactic that 74 percent of employee respondentssaid would cut their stress levels and give them moreconfidence about their financial situation is for employers tooffer savings options at the time they give employees raises.

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And it’s pretty obvious that something should be done, since 65percent of low-wage employees said they’re struggling or justgetting by, and 43 percent of respondents said they have less than$400 set aside.

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Saving is a struggle for many, with 45 percent saying they didnot save regularly and nearly 77 percent saying they didn’t savemore because they couldn’t afford to.

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In addition, although 55 percent said they saved something everymonth, only 24 percent saved a fixed amount; the other 31 percentsaved whatever was left at the end of the month.

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Researchers found, incidentally, that employees’ probability ofbeing able to save rises by 2 percent for every additional dollarearned up to $20 per hour.

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A whopping 80 percent of respondents are in debt, with 67percent saying paying off that debt was their top priority. Morethan 50 percent were in hock for at least $10,000 over and aboveany mortgage they might have.

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Most common type of debt? Credit cards, with 55 percent ofrespondents owning up to carrying balances.

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Employers might want to take heed of other findings: 62 percentof respondents said they’d be encouraged to work harder at theirjobs by employer-offered financial benefits at the time of a raise,62 percent said they’d be more productive and 76 percent saidthey’d be more likely to stay with the company.

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READ MORE:

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10 findings on employee financialwellness

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Financial wellness in the age ofanxiety

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Employers warming up to financialwellness

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