Employees Want Estate Planning Benefits. Is Your Organization Ready?

© AdobeStock
A new study suggests you can stand apart from competitors by offering the service.

Employees’ expectations for how they work and what they want out of their jobs are changing rapidly. Along with the challenges of recruiting and retaining top talent, HR professionals have an opportunity now to re-imagine their employee benefits in a way that aligns with today’s needs and expectations.

Generous health insurance, 401(k) matching contributions and paid time off are table stakes for HR. But what if there was another highly valued benefit that employees want more than ever, and that other employers have (until now) overlooked? The name of that benefit is: estate planning. 

In today’s competitive market for talent, employers need to think creatively and expansively about how to support their employees’ financial wellness. Your company already does so much to help employees succeed and build wealth—and estate planning can continue that support to help employees secure their financial legacies.

Estate planning services are becoming more in-demand than ever before, with a wider range of employees starting to realize the need to create a will and get their financial affairs in order. Just like insurance, estate planning is an essential part of a secure financial life—but many companies until now have not included estate planning in the conversation around employee benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at why estate planning matters to your employees, and why you should include it in your benefits packages.

Estate Planning Helps People Protect Their Financial Legacy

Many employee benefits are about protecting people’s finances. Whether it’s a 401(k) match or health insurance or voluntary disability coverage, your benefits package helps keep your employees focused at work by giving them a financial safety net. According to a recent Morgan Stanley survey, 90% of employees want their company to prioritize financial benefits and 95% of HR executives plan to do so.

Along with the usual ways for companies to support their people with wealth-building and financial security, estate planning should become a core part of this overall benefits package. By helping employees plan for their futures, clarify their wishes for their loved ones, and secure their financial legacies, your company can support them through every chapter of life—during their careers and beyond.

By providing estate planning as part of your benefits package, you’re also showing employees that you care about them, that you recognize the complexities and challenges of life outside of work, and that you want them to feel peace of mind for providing a financial legacy and protecting their loved ones’ future.

There is a Gap in the Market for Estate Planning Benefits

Sometimes it seems that every company is providing the same package of benefits, and it can be hard to differentiate your organization. But estate planning benefits are different: there is a big gap in the market right now for these benefits. Many employees would like to get help with estate planning, but most employers are not providing it.

My company has commissioned a new study, “The State of Estate Planning,” which uncovered some surprising findings:

  • Only 13% of workers are currently receiving estate planning as part of their benefits.
  • Of the remaining 87% of workers, more than 72% said they would be interested to use estate planning services if those services were offered by their employer.

This is a big opportunity for your organization to seize the initiative on estate planning and use estate planning to differentiate yourself in the market with a more unique, competitive package of employee benefits. Most other companies are not offering estate planning; you can. 

Estate Planning Benefits Helps Demonstrate Compassion

More than ever, employees want to work for companies that care about them. Especially for higher earners, estate planning benefits can help show people that you’re thinking about the total picture of their financial lives and helping to take worries off their plate.

Our survey respondents were from an affluent audience: 56% of respondents had annual household incomes of $100-$149k, and 44% had incomes over $150k.

Among these high earners who responded to our survey:

  • 70% said that one of their personal financial goals is to “hand down wealth to their loved ones.”
  • 57% were worried that their loved ones would have a “major burden” in managing their estate.
  • 40% of respondents said that they “just haven’t gotten around” to creating an estate plan.

Providing estate planning services as part of your employee benefits is a good thing to do for all your employees; almost everyone at all income levels can benefit from basic estate planning steps, such as writing a will. But especially for high earners who might have more complex estate planning needs, offering estate planning services helps demonstrate to your top talent that your company is thinking ahead and that you are ready to support them across their entire financial life.

Estate planning can help employees and executives who might have multiple retirement savings accounts at former employers, who might have significant financial assets from a successful startup exit, or who own real estate in multiple states or countries. Estate planning benefits can help them visualize the total picture of their net worth, get their assets and accounts organized, give generously to charitable causes and make better decisions for their loved ones’ financial futures.

Part of your company’s mission is to help your employees thrive financially. Now you can help them take the next step by embracing new benefits that help them secure their financial futures.

Get the StrategicCHRO360 Briefing

Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CHROs in every industry