• One in three employees are distracted at work by financial concerns, rising to 54% among under-30s
  • Almost a third have had to take time off to handle financial issues in the past year
  • Around 60% of employees are concerned about job security and 57% are worried about family financial security
  • MetLife Employee Benefits Trends Study 2017 highlights the power of benefits to help employers target financial wellness and enhance productivity


Rising uncertainty is driving worries about job and financial security and damaging employees’ performance at work, research for MetLife’s latest UK Employee Benefits Trends Study 2017 shows.

The concern about a lack of financial control is having a major impact - one in three employees say they are distracted at work by financial concerns, rising to 54% among the 18 to 30-year-old group. Almost a third of employees say they have had to take time off due to financial worries in the past year – up from just 3% in 2013.

MetLife is urging employers to use the power of their employee benefits to help tackle rising uncertainty among staff, with a focus on financial wellness programmes in the workplace to support staff suffering from growing levels of financial insecurity.

The study, which is now in its third edition, found around six out of 10 employees are worried about job security and concerned about the potential impact on their family. The numbers worried about job security has increased to 60% from 54% in 2015.

Concern about family financial security as a result of the sudden death of a main provider is up significantly to 57% from 43% in 2015, while worries about financial security if the wage earner is unable to work due to illness or disability has increased to 57% from 47%.

Employers have embraced physical wellness as a workplace issue, the study found, with 35% of firms introducing schemes and 87% of employees saying wellness programmes they’ve been involved in have helped them improve their health. However the study recommends expanding the focus to give financial wellness the same prominence in the workplace.

The Employee Benefits Trends Study 2017 outlines how employers can help build financial wellness on to existing programmes to support employees, including providing flexible working conditions, a good work-life balance, stress management programmes and financial counselling. Research shows financial wellness schemes will be popular with staff – around 53% would be interested in financial counselling.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director at MetLife UK, said: “We know that less stressed employees are more productive and creative and the business case to improve employees’ financial wellness is more than just a simple act of benevolence.

“Done right, it’s an opportunity to help employees become more focused at work and more engaged with their employers. There is a clear link between employees feeling in control of their finances and engaged at work, which is a real opportunity to demonstrate the power of benefits in driving productivity.”

“Employee benefits can help employers build stronger businesses as well as provide real value to the employees that work for them. Employees will choose to stay with companies which help them to manage their lives better.”

Results also show that the challenges of meeting day-to-day financial obligations are becoming harder, with almost four out of ten (39%) of workers saying they are living from payday to payday compared with 24% in 2015.

Part of that may be explained by a sharp rise in the number of workers concerned about credit card debt – up from just over a quarter (27%) in 2015 to 42% in 2017. Family costs are rising too – 41% of employees are worried about the education of children compared to 24% in 2015. 

* MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study, 2017.

Notes to Editors

The references to “MetLife” are general references to the group as a whole and not to specific entities within the group. MetLife in the UK comprises a number of different companies.

MetLife Europe d.a.c. is an Irish Insurance company based in Dublin with Dirk Ostijn as Chief Executive Officer. MetLife Europe d.a.c. provides financial products into the UK via its UK branch, of which Dominic Grinstead is the branch manager.

MetLife Europe Services Limited is an Irish services company, which distributes MetLife Europe d.a.c.’s products to Independent Financial Advisers via its UK branch. Key personnel within the UK branch of MetLife Europe Services Limited are Simon Massey, Wealth Management Director, Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director and Claire Oldstein, Marketing Director.

Products and services are offered by MetLife Europe d.a.c. which is an affiliate of MetLife, Inc. and operates under the “MetLife” brand.

MetLife Europe d.a.c. is a private company limited by shares and is registered in Ireland under company number 415123. Registered office at 20 on Hatch, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. UK branch office at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA. Branch registration number: BR008866. MetLife Europe d.a.c. (trading as MetLife) is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Details about the extent of our regulation by the FCA and PRA are available from us on request. www.metlife.co.uk

MetLife Europe d.a.c. is affiliated with US-based MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), which through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com

For further information, please contact:

Jo Riddell
Head of Communications, UK, Ireland and Europe, MetLife