Your retirement plan can be so much more than a savings vehicle for your employees — it can offer guidance, financial tools and ultimately a source of income. As no two employees are the same, likewise, their retirement needs also vary.

PNC conducted a Financial Wellness in the Workplace Study that surveyed 500 organizations with revenue of at least $5 million and 1,000 of their employees to better understand how financial wellness is being prioritized and addressed in the workplace. There are some key findings that can provide insights for retirement plan sponsors and their employees.

  Key Findings

  7 in 10 employees report being under financial pressure, and it negatively impacts their work.[1]

  45% of employees feel unprepared for the future and most have no plan to fix it.[2]

  80% of employees say financial wellness benefits may make them want to stay with their employer.[3]

  75% of employers report that employees' financial stress impacts operations, including reduced productivity, lower morale and performance.[4]

Below we share top employee financial concerns and key considerations for communicating financial wellness benefits in the context of career stages.

  Early Career

  •   4 in 10 workers don’t feel secure or in control of their finances.[5] Learning how to manage income and expenses through budgeting helps identify how much to save for retirement.
  •   20% of survey respondents learned about financial education in school, and 28% lack confidence in their financial knowledge as adults. [6]
  •   1 in 4 workers struggle with making student loan payments.[7]   The pressure and stress of student loan and credit card debt can quickly push thoughts of long-term savings aside.


  • Share online tools that demonstrate the effects of saving early for retirement.
  • Provide access to personalized credit and debt counseling, coaching or planning tools.
  • Consider offering student loan repayment support or in-plan emergency savings accounts.
  •   Mid-Career

    •   64% of employees cite saving enough for retirement as a top concern.[8] Mid-career employees are thinking about how much they have saved vs. expectations for their remaining working years.
    •   18% of student debt tool users had an outstanding loan against their 401(k), and older generations with student debt were likely to have a 401(k) loan. [9]
    •   78% of caregivers incur routine out-of-pocket costs averaging over $7K annually. Often called the “sandwich generation,” this group may be caregivers to both elderly parents and children under 18 years old. [10]


    • Encourage a retirement savings review to stay on track with goals.
    • Highlight education on college savings programs, such as 529 plans.
    • Educate about repayment terms in cases where retirement funds have been borrowed.
    • Provide mental health and caregiving resources to promote total wellbeing.

      Late Career

    •   $315,000 is the average amount a 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend for health care costs throughout retirement. [11]
    •   1 in 5 employees have worked with a financial professional in the last three years.[12] Which means many employees are facing these fears without financial counseling.
    •   80% of workers do not feel prepared to cover expenses beyond basic necessities.[13] One of the hardest things for employees to determine is how much they can afford to withdraw in retirement.


    • Identify tools and calculators that can help individuals/households calculate what they can afford to withdraw sustainably.
    • Boost employee confidence regarding their decision to retire by providing education, resources and access to financial professionals.

    To review our whitepaper about Top Financial Concerns by Career Stage, reach out to your PNC Representative or complete this Contact Us form.