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Aon’s Wellbeing report looks at correlation between employee health and financial well-being

May 2017

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Aon Employee Benefits, the U.K. health and benefits business of Aon plc, in April 2017 published a new report that highlights four ways U.K. employers can support their employees’ well-being in a shifting economic climate:

  1. Understand the connections between employee health, wealth and behavior in the specific working population.
  2. Secure sufficient budget for employee well-being. The Aon 2016 EMEA health report research showed that well-being budget restrictions are a problem; however, there are opportunities to realize a return on investment from well-being programs.
  3. Design a well-being program that is relevant to employees and to the performance metrics that need to be improved.
  4. Communicate a well-being program in a way that best attracts the attention of employees.

The report, titled Wellbeing: Examining the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing (registration required), examines and interprets data from various global and regional sources, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), and Aon’s own research and client base.

It identifies key impacts such as global medical trends that show employer medical costs rising ahead of inflation, risk factors expected to drive future claims, the increasing rate of obesity among adults, the high level of preventable cancers, musculoskeletal issues that represent the biggest cause of health issues in the workplace, and major mental health and stress concerns.

While U.K. data suggests that disposable income has increased, theoretically making saving and pension contributions more affordable, the Aon Defined Contribution (DC) Member Survey 2016 research indicates otherwise, with the vast majority of employees reporting that they put less than 10% of their salary into a pension scheme. Indeed, more than half intend to rely on the State pension, even though life expectancy is expected to continue rising, so financial provision will in all probability need to support them for longer.

Quoting Martha How, principal at Aon Employee Benefits and main author of the study: “Much of the research indicates that to achieve better health and retirement provision, employees need to change their behavior. Despite all the publicity, employees in the main are not paying sufficient attention to health and savings. However, employers have a vested business interest in employee health and wealth well-being as there are clear business benefits arising from this and there are steps they can take to address growing employee financial and medical health concerns.”

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