Prudential develops means to measure financial well-being of workers;
Will help companies evaluate the needs of their employees
March 20, 2015 – NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), today introduced a tool that allows employers to measure the financial wellness of their workers.
The new tool, called Prutection ScoreSM, gauges how financially prepared employees are, should a risk event occur, by looking at the resources available to them – personal funds and insurance coverage – relative to the resources needed.
A holistic approach
This holistic approach helps employers determine if their employees are in a position to cover their families’ financial needs should they experience a loss of income or financial challenges linked to a critical illness or accident. “There is no doubt people worry about their finances, and employers are increasingly helping their workers sort out how to deal with this,” said James Gemus, senior vice president, Distribution & Product Management, Prudential Group Insurance.
“The more we can help employers keep their employees financially fit, the less employees need to worry about money, which can lead to increased productivity.” Traditionally, many people measured their financial wellness primarily by their ability to pay their bills and by how well they were preparing for retirement. In addition to those key indicators, people must also fully consider the following key financial risks faced during the working years – loss of income due to premature death, loss of income due to illness or injury, and out-of-pocket medical and living expenses associated with a critical illness or accident.
Through a national survey of 5,335 full-time employees with medical insurance, Prudential has established national Prutection ScoreSM benchmarks that show the extent to which American workers are protected against these three financial risks. The higher the score, the better prepared an employee may be to meet his or her financial obligations.
Prutection ScoreSM and the findings of Prudential’s study are outlined in a white paper called: “Financial Wellness: The Next Frontier in Wellness Programs.” The paper reveals how key demographic drivers and the level of insurance coverage may impact financial wellness. The national benchmarks established by the Prudential study and related research are:
- In the event of a premature death, the average employee would be able to cover only 71 percent of the financial needs for a spouse’s or partner’s lifetime and for children until adulthood.
- In the case of an illness or injury that resulted in the inability to work, the average employee’s household would be able to pay 71 percent of their monthly expenses using other income sources, such as spousal or partner income and disability insurance benefits.
- In a critical illness or accident situation, the average employee’s household is equipped to cover just 48 percent of out-of-pocket expenses through liquid savings and insurance coverage.
A common driver in the financial wellness of all cases is the level of insurance coverage carried by an employee. The challenge for employers is to help employees determine what they need and how they can take advantage of existing company-paid and voluntary benefit offerings to improve their financial wellness. Using Prutection ScoreSM, employers can gauge the financial wellness of their employees and better understand the factors that contribute to their financial wellness. These results can be compared with benchmarks established for the company’s industry, region, size, and employee demographics, so that employers can identify segments of their employee populations that need help to improve their financial wellness.
Matching benefits with needs
“Employers traditionally evaluated their benefit plans based on the level of various benefits selected by employees,” Gemus said. “Now, benefit selection data can be viewed alongside employee needs, so that employers can focus on improving the financial wellness of the employees that need it most, as well as the broader financial needs of the company’s workforce overall.
“Prutection ScoreSM will enable employers to gear their benefit and educational programs to encourage employees to take advantage of benefits that will improve their financial well-being,” said Gemus. The Prutection ScoreSM is a measure of how prepared a group of employees are for the risks of (1) pre-mature death, (2) loss of income due to an illness or injury and (3) out of pocket expenses related to an illness or injury. For each of the three risks, the Prutection ScoreSM is the ratio of Funds Available to Funds Needed which are estimated using employee demographic information, Prudential survey data and a variety of credible external industry and government sources.
The Prutection Score SM is not intended to advise you or any of your employees what their specific financial needs might be or the exact amount of coverage any one individual might need now or in the future. The resulting scores are to be used for an entire group of employees or large demographics within a group. Results are not to be used at an individual level. Individuals should contact a financial professional regarding your personal situation. Prudential is not responsible for uses made of this information inconsistent with the description provided here Prutection ScoreSM is a service mark of The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Prudential Group Insurance manufactures and distributes a full range of group life, long-term and short-term disability and corporate and trust-owned life insurance in the U.S. to institutional customers primarily for use in connection with employee and membership benefit plans. The business also sells critical illness, accident, accidental death and dismemberment and other ancillary coverages and provides plan administrative services in connection with its insurance coverages. Group Insurance coverages strive to facilitate protection from risks that are difficult to predict, thus fostering overall financial wellness for employees and their families.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/.