CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2022) — Unum (NYSE:UNM) employees have a new benefit to prepare for unexpected expenses – without dipping into their retirement or using credit cards. Employees can contribute a portion of their paycheck to an emergency savings fund.
U.S. 401(k)-eligible employees who are not considered highly compensated by the IRS* can set up recurring payroll deductions that can be set aside for an emergency. There is no fee to withdraw, and the emergency savings balance is invested in the same funds available in the employee’s 401(k) account.
American workers are financially fragile
According to consumer research from Unum, 34% of U.S. workers have less than $1,000 in their checking or savings account.
- 57% said they could only pay their bills for three months or less if they were to lose their main source of income. It’s even higher among Millennials at 70% and 69% for Gen Z.
- Women are less financially secure than men with 61% of women being able to pay bills for three months or less compared to 53% of men.
Carl Gagnon, assistant vice president of Global Financial Wellbeing and Retirement Programs at Unum said the company relies on regular employee engagement surveys to determine how they can deliver benefits and resources to meet employees’ evolving needs.
“In 2021, three of the top five stressors for employees, were related to finances. For many, it’s been hard to stay motivated during the pandemic. We want to educate and provide services to help our employees prepare for a rainy day. The response to this offering has been incredible.”
Financial wellness for a multi-generational workforce
“There is something for each of our employees at Unum,” said Ben Roberge, director of Financial and Retirement Programs at Unum. “Along with our student debt relief program, generous 401(k) matching, and other financial resources, we provide employees tools to reduce financial stress and improve overall wellbeing.”
Other financial resources Unum offers employees include access to dedicated financial assistants, regular financial wellbeing checkups, executive services, and backup emergency care for children, adults, and elders. As well as extensive leave and family support benefits.
*Nonhighly Compensated Employee definition by the IRS for 2021 is earnings at or below $130k.
 Unum consumer research of 1,500 full-time, U.S. working adults, August 2021.