Podcast Episode 9

Episode details

Investment expert Carl Gagnon discusses how HR teams can talk about financial well-being with employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. As AVP of Financial Wellbeing and Retirement Programs at Unum and a thought leader who regularly speaks at industry conferences, Carl brings decades of expertise and a calm perspective. He reminds us of the importance of seeing the big picture and explains how employers can talk to employees about their available resources, such as a 401(k) provider or their own benefits portal.

  • Employers who have a 401(k) or financial well-being program have built those with care. Now is the time to share those resources with your employees. [01:22]
  • Don’t make investment choices based on emotion or reactions to the market. [03:00]
  • If you’re close to retirement age, and if your employer offers tools and resources — especially third parties — reach out to them. They have financial planners who can help you work through this. [04:56]
  • Lean into the volatility. Some employees may be saving money by not driving to work, eating out, etc. Take some of that excess money and reinvest or build some emergency savings. [07:18]
  • If you have reduced income, use the resources available to you. Take stock of what you have and talk to your creditors and vendors about deferring payments. There are programs available to help. For example, Defined Contribution programs may have loan features. Student loan forgiveness programs may be available, including federal student loan deferment. [08:40]

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Carl Gagnon headshot

Carl Gagnon

Assistant Vice President Financial Wellbeing & Retirement Programs, Unum

Carl Gagnon is responsible for the day-to-day operations, regulatory oversight and compliance of the Unum global financial well-being and retirement programs, including the Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and Non-Qualified retirement plans and various flex benefit programs offered within its international operations. Carl is also involved with developing, implementing and aligning the company’s global retirement program designs with Unum’s overall business objectives and serves as a key partner in implementing their strategy, design and investment structure. Carl has 25 years’ experience in various HR and Benefit positions, including developing benefit strategy, managing corporate benefit programs and implementing administrative systems to manage these plans. Prior to joining Unum in 2005, Carl worked in similar roles with Apogent Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific and in the Taft Hartley benefit field. He holds a CEBS certification, is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Administrators and is a member of Society for Human Resources Management and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

About the host

Clare Morin headshot

Clare Morin

Unum Content Marketing Manager

Clare Morin is the Content Marketing Manager at Unum and a journalist who’s spent the last 20 years interviewing hundreds of thought leaders on topics ranging from wellness to culture, finance, human resources and technology. Born in the UK, raised in Hong Kong and based in the U.S. since 2009, she brings a global outlook to the HR Trends studio.

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