Retirement Plans Are Sucking Up Money That Workers Need Right Now

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Photo: Flickr / anna gutermuth

Lousy spending habits aren’t the only thing tightening workers’ cash-flow, according to the latest PwC Financial Wellness Survey. 

The fact that many of us are forced to tie up our money in employer-sponsored IRAs and 401(k)s is also to blame. 

PwC found more than one-third of American workers (35 per cent) said they’re more likely to use retirement funds to pay other expenses and are consistently carrying balances on credit cards.

Money matters are also causing friction at work, where 54 per cent of employees aren’t prepared to cover financial emergencies and 61 per cent can’t make their household payments. 

The last thing a manager wants is a disgruntled, unproductive employee on his payroll, but as any boomer will tell you, they’re shoving off retirement because they simply cannot afford it, said Kent Allison, partner and national practice leader with PwC. 

There are ways to counter the problem, however. Allison suggests employers expand their menu of financial services to include debt and cash management/counseling services that would help employees tackle everyday issues head on so they can stop sabotaging their retirement

Already, progressive companies are embracing what “financial wellness programs,” which Allison says work in the same way as health/wellness programs that reward employees for healthy behaviour by incentivizing workers to improve their finances. 

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