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Home » News » Report: Most workers are disappointed with their benefits and struggle with debt, but remain satisfied with their jobs

Report: Most workers are disappointed with their benefits and struggle with debt, but remain satisfied with their jobs

A new workplace study finds that 80% of employees have a problematic level of debt, which includes credit card, medical, and student loan debt.

That same study published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald Research found that three-in-four workers agree that employers have a responsibility to make sure employees are mentally and physically well.


The Workplace Wellness Survey examines worker attitudes towards employment-based benefits in the workplace, as well as a broad spectrum of financial well-being, employment-based health insurance and retirement benefit issues.

“T​​​​​​​his is the third year of the Workplace Wellness Survey and probably the most meaningful survey report where workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits have become major critical factors for employees,” explained Paul Fronstin, director, Health Benefits Research, EBRI.

Here’s what else the report found:

  • Most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and the overwhelming majority describes their level of debt as a problem.  Six in ten employees (60%) are at least moderately concerned about their household’s financial well-being, which has increased by 11 points since 2021 (49%). About half of employees are concerned about their emotional (50%) and physical (48%) well-being.
  • Employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas.  Three in four employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to make sure employees are mentally healthy and emotionally well (77%) and healthy and physically well (74%). Two thirds (66%) feel the same about their employer’s responsibility to ensure employees are financially secure and well.
  • Health insurance and retirement savings plans are the most common employee benefits and are the top benefits for employee retention/recruitment and their financial security.  Four in ten employees (44%) are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package, which has decreased by 7 points since 2021 (51%).
  • Most employees have a high level of understanding about their health benefits and half rate their employer’s communications about health benefits highly. Half of employees (52%) rate their employer’s communications about health insurance and health care as excellent or very good. Less than half (47%) rate communications about online resources about benefits at the same level.
  • Workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits are important to employees. Most feel tele-working has positively impacted their well-being. Four in ten employees (39%) describe the work-life balance at their company as excellent or very good, which has decreased significantly since 2021. Another 36% rate it as good and 25% rate it as fair or poor.
  • Most employees agree that balancing work and caregiving is challenging, but few employees report access to caregiving benefits. A quarter of employees (24%) report their employer offers subsidized/complimentary child or daycare. Among those with access, 65% of employees have used it. Among those without access, 44% are interested in having the benefit available.
  • Half of employees are satisfied with their current retirement benefits and most are satisfied with the contributions received from their employer.  Seven in ten employees (70%) say they are currently offered a retirement savings plan. Half of employees (51%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current retirement benefits and nearly six in ten (58%) understand their retirement benefits extremely or very well.
  • Fewer than half of employees say they are offered a financial wellness program at work. When offered, six in ten employees have participated. Over four in ten employees (45%) say their employer offers the opportunity to participate in a financial wellness program.
  • Most employees feel mental health wellness programs have become more important in the past year and most are interested in mental health resources and expanded benefits.  Four in ten employees (45%) rate their employer’s communications about mental health and work-life balance as excellent or very good over the past year.
  • Most employees remain satisfied with their current job despite decreases in satisfaction with their benefits package and work-life balance. Six in ten employees (59%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current job, which is consistent with the 2021 findings (60%).

The 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey was conducted through the financial support of AARP, Cigna, Edelman Financial Engines, Fidelity Investments, Human Rights Campaign, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, OneAmerica, Unum and Voya Financial.



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