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Evolving workplace benefits and savings decisions to year-round moments that matter

Employers can help connect seemingly unconnected employee workplace benefits decisions to drive engagement and greater financial wellness. How? By creating more moments that matter throughout the year encouraging employees to think about both their workplace savings and benefits more holistically.

This can also help employees see the bigger financial picture to achieve a healthy balance of living for today, preparing for tomorrow and feeling more confident about the future.

Many employees don’t look forward to open enrollment and the plethora of workplace benefits decisions entailed. In fact, 72% of employees eligible for benefits say they would rather visit the dentist, service their vehicle, or prepare for tax season over reviewing workplace benefit options.1 This may begin to explain why the average employee takes 18 minutes2 to make 17 enrollment benefits decisions.3

To put it into perspective, the average American consumer spends around 45 hours a year choosing what to stream on TV.4 While there is clearly a disconnect, health and wealth benefits are becoming increasingly intertwined.

A more connected experience can help drive engagement and outcomes

Health care costs are rising two times faster than incomes5 and the number one reason for retirement plan hardship withdrawals is unreimbursed medical expenses6 – both leading to financial unwellness. Expanding the interconnections between workplace savings and benefits could lead to better retirement outcomes.

Offering employees an easier, more intuitive benefits experience is also paramount. A Voya survey found that 7 in 10 employees (73%) are interested in support and guidance tools that would help them understand how much money to put aside for emergency savings, retirement and health care expenses.7

Simply put, employees want to see the connection between health and wealth benefits decisions – a connection that has traditionally been disconnected.

Ways employers create more year-round moments that matter

Today, the average employee views workplace benefits decisions independently without connecting how decisions about their health benefits can impact their long-term financial health. That’s why it’s important for employers to evolve the narrative around workplace benefits decision-making to a year-round conversation.

There are opportunities throughout the year when it makes sense for employers to nudge employees to holistically consider their financial situation – including health and retirement savings – and proactively optimize workplace offerings all year long.

Navigating life events with more confidence

From adopting a baby, getting married/divorced to moving, changing jobs or losing income – these are life event triggers. This means employees have a limited time to make benefit changes – like adding life insurance or health coverage. Employers can help remind every employee to do a life event check-in each quarter.

And it’s a good time to assess savings, looking at retirement, emergency savings and college savings. Voya also offers personalized advice and guidance to help employees confidently chart the best path forward.

Here are a few key choice points when you can help employees better engage with their workplace savings and benefits all year – whether they’re just starting out, in mid-career or approaching retirement:


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Employee choice points throughout the year

KEY: EC (early career employees); MC (mid-career employees); PR (pre-retiree employees)

January  February  March:

aTake a financial wellness assessment  EC MC
aCreate a budget  EC
aMake catch-up contributions (age 50+)  PR
aReview budget  MC PR
aUpdate beneficiaries  EC MC PR
aMaximize HSA contributions  EC MC PR
aLife event check-in  EC MC PR

April  May  June:

aReview budget  EC MC PR
aAdjust savings rate  EC MC PR
aIncrease retirement contribution  EC MC PR
aCreate an emergency savings  EC MC
aConsult a financial professional/pre-retiree checklist  PR
aLife event check-in  EC MC PR

July – August  September:

aConsolidate loans and other debt  EC MC
aReview budget  EC MC PR
aConsider education savings options  MC
aRe-enroll in retirement plan or increase savings rate  EC MC PR
aAllocate assets appropriately for time horizon  PR
aLife event check-in  EC MC PR

October – November – December:

aEnroll in an HSA or FSA  EC MC PR
aSet up auto-saving contributions  EC MC
aTake advantage of matching contributions  EC MC PR
aReview budget  EC MC PR
aStart budgeting for retirement (10-15 years ahead)  PR
aLife event check-in  EC MC PR

A connected experience offers easier administration for employers

It’s not just employees who want an easier, more connected workplace benefits experience – employers do as well. According to Voya research, 77% of employers surveyed said they are interested in an integrated solution across health and wealth.8 The same research suggests employers are most interested in:

  • Employee digital decision support
  • Account aggregation
  • Goal tracking functionality

Working with fewer workplace benefits carriers – or even just one carrier – can simplify administration too. Employers stand to benefit from fewer websites to access, fewer passwords to remember and single-sign on (SSO). In addition to time savings from frictionless benefits administration, SSO can also help improve security by reducing password fatigue. 

The interdependent nature of health benefits and retirement savings makes it mutually beneficial for employers and employees to view them holistically. And through accessing an integrated view of retirement plans, Nonqualified Deferred Compensation (NQDC) plans, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), employers are well suited to effectively navigate administration across multiple plans while also saving time.

Unlocking the power of an integrated experience

In addition, mobile and digital tools can help engage and educate employees – and fix the workplace savings and benefits disconnect. For example, myVoyage by Voya® offers a participant experience that consists of science-based tools, guidance and resources to help employees stay on track for retirement. And Voya’s myHealth&Wealth™ provides personalized guidance during enrollment to help employees optimize their household spending across health insurance benefits, emergency savings and retirement.

Connecting it all to create more moments that matter

Voya offers holistic workplace solutions that include a wide selection of employee and retirement benefits. This uniquely positions us to provide a more seamless, more connected experience to help employers save time, while prompting employees to make smarter, more intuitive decisions to optimize their whole financial picture.

Find out how you can get your workplace benefits and savings in sync or contact your Voya representative.

This is the first article in a three-part series where we explore how employers can create more value for employees by connecting the unconnected when it comes to benefits and savings needs in the workplace.

Read the other articles in this series:

  1. Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted August 27-30, 2021, on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,003 adults, featuring 475 working Americans and 291 eligible for benefits, aged 18+ in the U.S.
  2. HR Dive, On average, employees spend 18 minutes enrolling in benefits, May 2019. Report by PlanSource based on anonymous data on its own platform representing 92 million benefits elections made in the system. 
  3. Number of benefits decisions will depend on employer offering. For illustration purposes only.
  4. vox Newsletter Nov. 2019.
  5. Based on 2018 data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Survey.
  6. Voya Internal Data for 12-month period ending 6/30/2019.
  7. Voya study conducted with McKinsey, 2021.
  8. Voya study conducted with McKinsey, 2021.

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This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. Please consult an independent legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your individual situation.