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The impact that employee financial stress has had on lost productivity from presenteeism, absenteeism, exacerbated health issues, and higher employee turnover numbers has been largely understood, as we explored in Part 1, Helping employers in the new normal: COVID-19 & the changing relationship between employers & employees. Almost every month, a new study or report is published highlighting the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to save for emergencies, and saving too little for retirement.

There is growing evidence that COVID-19 is exacerbating employees’ financial stress. While savings rates have increased during the pandemic, so have withdrawal rates from 401(k)s, according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Social and economic trends such as remote work, are accelerating rapidly, and employees are anxious about their financial stability as well as their physical and mental health.

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