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Literacy In Finance Can Make U.S. Employees More Productive, Says Survey

Obtaining financial literacy can make workers more productive

Obtaining financial literacy can make workers more productive and make society better prepared to lower the risk of experiencing a major economic crisis, according to a finance survey conducted by the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation in conjunction with the Employee Benefits News.

Importance of financial education

In the survey, more than nine-tenths, or 94 percent of all employers participating, stated that financial literacy is either important or extremely important in lowering societal vulnerability to major economic shocks, according to Employee Benefit News. This is higher than the 91 percent who gave financial literacy this level of importance in the 2010 survey.

In addition, more-than two-thirds, or 83.3 percent of respondents specified that employers providing basic workplace financial education is either important or extremely important to the productivity of the organization offering the training, the media outlet reports. This figure represented a substantial increase from the 70 percent who indicated that productivity can be boosted by this training when responding to the 2010 survey.

In addition, more-than two-thirds, or 69.7 percent of respondents, stated that employers that make workers pay for some of their benefits should provide them with a continuous supply of financial training so that they have the information they need to make education financial decisions, according to the news source. The figure represented a significant increased over the 53 percent who specified this obligation in 2010.

"The value of employee financial education is clear," Judith Cohart, president and chief executive officer of the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation, stated, the media outlet reports. "The challenge is to overcome the barriers that prevent employers from providing this benefit to their employees."

Current workplace finance education

More-than four-fifths, or 81.8 percent of the employers who took part in the survey indicated that they give their workers education to support their retirement planning efforts, which represented a decrease from the 88 percent that specified giving this information in the 2010 survey, according to the news source.

However, only a slim majority, or 51.5 percent of respondents, stated that the financial education they provide contains information on credit management, budgeting and debt reduction, the media outlet reports. While the fraction of employers offering this information is far less than the share providing education related to retirement plans, the 2012 number is far higher than the 28 percent who said they provided personal finance training in 2010.

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