Is financial wellness the prescription for a culture of mental health?

Supporting your employees with a financial wellness benefit can help them in more ways than one

Every year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. For the month of May, Voya joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health and illness. Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed since 1949. Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month and ways you can support your employees impacted by mental illness. 

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While we all traditionally bask in the highs of life, many employees, unfortunately, are ill-equipped to handle the dips, especially when it comes to matters of the dollar. Add COVID- 19, rising unemployment and market volatility to the mix; and it’s easy to understand how financial distress and uncertainty can weigh on the psyche. Even prior to COVID-19, 49% of American workers suffered from stress, anxiety or depression associated with financial matters.1

However, employees aren’t the only ones to feel the sting from financial stress. The impact to employers may take the shape of productivity decline, higher employment costs, delayed retirement, etc. In fact, anywhere from 11% to 14% of total payroll expense is estimated to be lost due to factors associated with poor financial wellness.2

Fortunately, both the employee and the employer can benefit from the right resources. Namely, a tailored financial wellness program can offer employees a clear path to finding a healthy balance of living for today and feeling confident about the future while working to help employers create a more productive workplace. Let’s take a closer look at how financial stress may be impacting both your employee’s mental health, your bottom line and what you can do about it.

Money woes can impact your employees’ mental health

Depending on the employee, financial stress can manifest itself in a number of ways. For some, it can even lead to serious complications including anxiety and depression. All of this worry can take its toll on overall mental well-being. For instance:

  • An estimated 48% of U.S. adults lose sleep over money-related issues. And a lack of sleep can exacerbate other mental health problems, creating a vicious cycle.3
  • While everyone can get down and out from time to time, employees with money worries are 4 times more likely to suffer from depression.4
  • Those who suffer from financial stress are 3.4 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Without the right coping mechanisms, these illnesses can lead to a lack of focus and affect performance.5

In addition to the mental anguish, financial stress can contribute to a host of physical manifestations, from weight gain to headaches to digestive problems. What may start out as simple money woes can lead to medical conditions that can prevent employees from getting to work and concentrating when they are there.

Financial stress impacts employers as well

Mental health issues are not just challenging for individuals, but those complications can spill over into the workplace. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.6 Here’s a look at how that may look at the company level:

  • Distracted workers. 43% report finances have been a distraction at work, which can lead to errors, missing important information in meetings and miscommunications.7
  • Lost productivity. 21% of employees report financial worries have had an impact on their productivity.8
  • Lowered team morale. Employees with money worries are 4.3 times more likely to have poor relationships with colleagues. When team members are distracted by money issues, it can lead to performance issues, causing a confrontation between team members.9
  • More likely to leave. 78% of employees who are stressed about their finances would be more attracted to another company that cares more about their financial wellbeing.10

While not all anxiety and depression stems from money worries, of course, employers that offer a holistic benefits package with financial wellness to address financial stress may be better positioned to support their employees on all fronts.

Supporting mental health with financial wellness

As an employer, you’re in a unique position to offer your employees a path to reduced financial stress, a greater peace of mind and improved retirement outcomes through financial wellness. And Voya’s myVoyage personalized participant experience can help you do just that.

myVoyage ecosystem of participant solutions.


myVoyage places each individual at the center of the experience, bringing together all the tools, guidance and resources needed to inspire confidence about where they stand today and what they need to do next to achieve the future they envision. It isn’t just what you can see on the surface that sets myVoyage apart – it’s the way sophisticated behavioral finance learnings, insights from 6+ million participants, feedback from over 50,000 plan sponsors and consumer research are infused into every technology advancement and customer touchpoint.11

The myVoyage personalized participant experience features a number of tailored financial wellness solutions designed to alleviate financial stress and help your employees achieve better holistic health and wealth, including:

  1. Voya Financial Wellness Experience
  2. Voya Learn
  3. Emergency Savings Solution
  4. myOrangeMoney
  5. Participant advisory services
  6. Personalized video
  7. Student loan debt benefit solution
  8. Health Savings Accounts
  9. Voya Cares
  10. And more

Designed with your employees in mind, your employees will have access to a straightforward and integrated financial wellness experience that allows them to see their total financial picture and take the next best action accordingly.

Reach out to your Voya Relationship Manager to learn more about financial wellness.

Related Items

  1. Willis Towers Watson 2019/2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey
  2. Salary Finance, The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellness, 2019
  3. Bank Rate, Survey: Surprisingly fewer people losing sleep over money issues right now. Jun. 23, 2020
  4. Salary Finance, Financial Wellness Guide 2019 due-to-money-worries/
  5. ibid
  6. The Lancet Global Health. Volume 8, Issue 11, E1352 – 11/01/2020. 0/fulltext?rss=yes#
  7. PWC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 2018.
  8. PWC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 2019.
  9. Salary Finance, Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellness 2019
  10. PWC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 2019.
  11. Voya Internal Data as of 12/31/2020


Neither Voya® nor its affiliated companies or representatives provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax adviser or attorney before making a tax-related investment/insurance decision.

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