Coworkers collaborating together after their company implemented estate planning as en employee benefit.

6 minute read

Level Up Your Benefits Package: Estate Planning for Employee Retention and Productivity

Looking for ways to make your employee benefits package more attractive? Learn how estate planning could be a meaningful benefit to attract and retain employees.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

Hiring managers everywhere are feeling the heat of a competitive job market. Mass resignations amidst the pandemic created a record number of vacant positions. At the same time, job scopes and skills requirements are always changing due to technological innovation and disruption. The need for reskilling and recruiting is at an all-time high.

One of the key strategies to attract and retain top talent is to offer premium perks and benefits to employees. Basic benefits such as health insurance and paid time off still matter, but expanding your range of benefits could be what makes the difference between your company and another employer. Studies show that the majority of workers are stressed about their finances and feel that their employers should provide support. 

Consider leveling up your benefits package with estate planning to demonstrate that you are invested in your employees’ long-term financial wellness.

Good benefits packages matter

A Gartner study reports that employee turnover is getting worse. Rates will increase 50 to 75 percent higher than before, and vacant positions will take 18 percent longer to fill. 

Frequent reskilling and recruiting is costly and ultimately hinders company performance. So what does a company need to help attract and retain the right talent? What will help recruiters and hiring managers sell their company over others?

Aside from salaries and company culture, a competitive benefits package is often the answer. Glassdoor reports that the majority of candidates feel that perks and benefits are a top consideration when comparing employers. Further, workers place a high value on benefits. 80 percent of workers, especially younger ones, would prefer improved or added benefits over a pay increase. 

This calls for an evaluation of your current benefits package and measure how it stacks up against companies in your industry. What can you do to revamp your package and make it even more attractive to top talent?

Workers need financial wellness support

Financial stress bears bad news for both employees and their employers. Inflation, fears of a recession, and the inability to save toward retirement are top concerns reported across studies by Bank of America, PwC, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

While it may seem like a personal matter at first, financial stress directly impacts an employee’s productivity at work. The majority of workers report feeling stressed about their finances, with one-third spending at least 30 minutes each work day worrying about their finances.

Further, four in five workers (a whopping 80 percent) feel that employers should be more aware of their employees’ financial struggles. However, most employees are reluctant and embarrassed to ask for help. 

The Bank of America study found that 82 percent of employees feel that employers should be playing a bigger role in providing more assistance in the area of financial wellness.

However, this doesn’t mean merely providing pay increases, although those are always welcomed. 

Employees are feeling stressed about their long-term financial success, including the ability to retire as well as opportunities to grow wealth. Supporting employees in these areas can not only help reduce stress and boost productivity, they can improve worker loyalty and retention. 

Financial wellness benefit examples

The vast majority of employers already offer basic financial benefits, such as an elective 401k savings program or optional enrollment in insurance programs such as life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

American workers, however, are demonstrating a need for additional support in the area of achieving financial health. Employers who understand this need are beginning to offer creative tools and programs.  

Here are some popular examples benefits that are being offered:

  • Household budgeting: This could look like complimentary consultations with a financial expert or free memberships to budgeting tools and education. Employees may take advantage to learn how to set a realistic budget, cut unnecessary spending, reduce debt, and maximize savings. 

  • Credit and debt management education: Financial literacy typically isn’t taught in school, so employers shouldn’t assume that their employees understand how the capitalist system operates. Education programs can help them gain a better understanding of how the debt and credit system truly works. They could also come away with strategies on how to improve and maintain their credit score, manage or refinance debt and loans, become a better loan applicant, and improve their overall personal finances.

  • Personal finance and investment planning: Most employers offer a basic retirement savings plan, but fail to offer any further support or education. An employer could set employees up with free personal finance planning so that they can better understand different types of retirement accounts and investment options based on their age and financial goals.

  • 401k auto-enrollment: A 401k savings program is often offered as an optional employee benefit. For some employees, it can be difficult to invest in their future when increased cash flow is more tempting today. Instead, employers may opt to automatically enroll qualified employees at a default contribution rate (with the option to opt out.) Streamlining the process makes it psychologically easier for employees to stay enrolled and pay themselves first.

  • Paycheck rainy day savings: Many payroll platforms offer rainy day savings programs — they give employees the option to set aside a set amount from every paycheck as a rainy day savings fund. Even a small amount, such as $25 per month, can add up to a significant nest egg over the course of several months. If the employee ever runs into an unexpected expense, they can dip into their rainy day fund without any penalty.

  • Student loan assistance: Student loan debt is currently touted as a “$1.7 trillion crisis”. Any employer is likely to employ individuals who feel stifled, or even crippled, by their personal student loan debt. Discussed earlier, financial struggle often impacts a worker’s mental health and productivity at work. Offering student loan assistance for qualified individuals can help attract and retain top talent who have invested in their education.

Estate planning as a stand-out financial wellness benefit

Estate planning is a high-value benefit that has been largely overlooked by employers until more recently. There is a reason that respected sources such as and Benefits News are arguing that estate planning is  the “next must-have employee benefit” or should even be mandatory.

First and foremost, estate planning will help you stand out from the crowd.

Many employers have caught onto the advantages of offering financial wellness benefits. Even then, most employer benefits look similar to one another. Aside from offering common financial tools and services to employees, what can a company do to stand out?

According to, 87 percent of workers don’t receive estate planning benefits, yet 72 percent would take advantage if they were offered by their employer. With only a small proportion of employees receiving estate planning as a part of their benefits package, it presents an opportunity to stand out. 

Estate planning is an essential tool for financial security.

An Estate Plan is a critical part of securing your financial legacy. This includes activities such as getting your affairs in order, and creating instructions for how you plan to make bequests to those you love. 

Many individuals make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to get their affairs in order, leaving their assets and property vulnerable. Instead, employers can encourage their workers to create their estate plans early so that their personal finances are protected through every stage of their career. 

Companies have an opportunity to demonstrate that they care about an employee’s long-term wellness.

It should go without saying that an employee is more likely to remain with a company long-term if they feel that the employer personally cares about them. Aside from great company culture and competitive salaries, a benefits package is a key way for a company to demonstrate that they value their employees. A great benefits package will cater to an employee’s holistic wellbeing. A package that offers estate planning benefits will demonstrate to both current employees and candidates that the company goes above and beyond to support the holistic health of their employees, including their long-term financial success.  

Estate planning benefits shows that you care

The vast majority of U.S. workers feel stressed regarding their personal finances. This type of financial stress is proven to impact mental health and damage productivity at work. Further, employees who don’t feel supported in their financial wellness by their employers are more likely to quit their jobs.

The job market is already competitive for employers, yet turnover and vacancy rates are expected to increase. To stand out in the industry, employers should consider ramping up their benefits packages. There is a general trend where employers are beginning to expand financial wellness tools and services to employees, meaning that companies will need to find new ways to stand out from their competitors. A viable and often overlooked option is to include estate planning services as a part of employee benefits. 

There are several advantages for the employer to consider. First, offering estate planning is still unique and can help an employer stand out in their industry. Second, providing these services will help workers on their paths toward financial security, which can improve their mental health and productivity in the workplace. Last but not least, this is a way to demonstrate to employees that they truly care about their long-term financial wellness. 

At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement  options today!

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