Buck Bond Group

New survey reveals 92% of employees seek increased financial resources to combat the rising cost of living and medical expenses

NEW YORK – May 21, 2024 – Employees continue to struggle financially and want employers  to offer more support with money management, medical expenses, and savings, according to new data from the 2024 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey report released by Buck, a Gallagher company. Employees and HR professionals at U.S. organizations were surveyed for this biennial report, now in its fifth edition.

The survey examines various aspects of wellbeing, including financial, physical, mental and emotional, and social health. Financial wellbeing emerged as the lowest-ranking category, with one in five employees reporting a decline in their financial health.

Notably, 92% of employee respondents expressed the need for additional financial resources, a significant increase from 79% in the 2022 report. Of particular concern is the finding that one in three employees want additional financial support for medical expenses. Furthermore, 56% of respondents believe that inflation or rising costs will negatively impact their ability to pay for healthcare. These findings align with Gallagher’s 2023 Workforce Trends Report, that found 53% of employers increased employee cost sharing in 2023.

“As more employers look to address rising medical costs, they’re seeking creative solutions to help minimize the impact on their benefit budgets, while also helping employees manage medical expenses,” said Tom Kelly, a Principal in the Health and Benefits practice at Gallagher, and a co-author of the report. Kelly also noted employers’ increased awareness of the strong correlation between financial and physical wellbeing and the ability to pay for healthcare.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly one in three employees expressed the need for additional support for unexpected expenses, a significant increase from 23% in the 2022 survey.
  • 58% of employees reported living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 55% stated that their financial situation had either remained the same or worsened compared to a year ago.
  • 72% of employers are likely to address financial wellbeing in 2024. The six fastest-growing voluntary benefits ranked in order include long-term care, emergency savings, caregiving, financial coaching, critical illness, and cancer support and savings.
  • Financial wellbeing needs vary by life stage and demographics, with Gen Z prioritizing emergency savings and money management, Millennials prioritizing childcare and pregnancy/fertility support, Gen X valuing long-term care and musculoskeletal care, and Boomers seeking more support with medical bills and managing chronic conditions.

“The survey results highlight the urgent need for employers to provide additional financial resources to support to their employees, as well as benefit communications to increase awareness of available programs,” said report co-author Ruth Hunt, a Principal in the Communication practice at Gallagher. “Fifty-five percent of employees wish they had a better understanding of their benefits, particularly younger employees. Addressing this communications gap will also help organizations improve the overall wellbeing of their workforce and enhance employee satisfaction.”

For more information on the 2024 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey report, please visit https://buck.com/report-2024-wellbeing-and-voluntary-benefits-survey

Survey methodology

The fifth edition of Buck’s survey collected responses from 255 employer and 698 employee participants in November 2023. Both the employer and employee samples are representative of large U.S. employers. The employer sample is representative of Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. business data in terms of number of employees, industry, and regions of the U.S. The employee sample is representative of the U.S. workforce in terms of gender, race, and age.

About Buck

Buck, a Gallagher company, is an integrated HR, pensions, and employee benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm. Founded more than 100 years ago as an actuarial consultancy, we’ve evolved to serve organizations and trustees across the health, wealth, and career spectrum.

With the ultimate goal of securing the futures of our clients’ employees and members, we develop tech-enabled programs that engage individuals and drive organizational performance. Our award-winning engagement solutions and people-first approach empower the world’s most forward-thinking organizations to protect the physical and financial wellbeing of their employees and members and improve how their people work and live. For more information, visit www.buck.com.

About Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Gallagher provides these services in approximately 130 countries around the world through its owned operations and a network of correspondent brokers and consultants. For more information, visit www.ajg.com.

Media contact:
Lumina Communications
Michael Gallo