Last week, the CFPB published a report entitled “Financial wellness at work” that reviews “promising practices to promote financial wellness in the workplace.” 

The CFPB’s research found that particularly since the recession, financial distress is widespread among the American workforce and can result in large associated costs to employers in terms of productivity loss and higher health care spending.  According to the CFPB, such costs provide employers with “a potentially large incentive to explore cost-effective ways to enhance employee financial wellness.”   The CFPB describes financial wellness programs as programs that educate employees to help them manage both short-term and long-term financial needs. 

The CFPB states that the report is intended “to serve as a resource for employers who are interested in promoting employee financial well-being by helping their employees develop the skills to better manage their money.”  In addition to making “the business case” for financial wellness programs and describing relevant research findings, the CFPB provides “case studies of some financial wellness practices that employers have found helpful and which might be useful to other companies interested in promoting financial wellness.” 

We think the report is another demonstration of the CFPB’s commendable efforts to explore innovative approaches in carrying out its Dodd-Frank mandate to develop and implement financial education initiatives.