Knowledge and Insights Features Mercadien Foundation Article on Financially Literate Employees

April 2015

Financial Literacy

Everyone knows that sex, religion and politics are out of bounds for discussion in polite company, right? Now is a good time to recognize another taboo topic that should be talked about: money. In 2003, the National Endowment for Financial Education introduced Youth Financial Literacy Day and, in 2004, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 316, recognizing April as National Financial Literacy Month, in an attempt to improve personal financial health and reduce the stigma associated with focusing on it.

Let’s look at that topic people don’t like to talk about and combine it with the place they’re least likely to talk about it: work. The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans says 20 hours of productivity are lost per month by financially stressed employees. When the survey was first done in 1979, 10 percent of employees reported decreased productivity because of financial stress. Now, that number exceeds 25 percent. As the survey findings below indicate, workplaces that offer financial education improve their statistics dramatically. In such institutions:

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