Posted by: Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) | August 7, 2012

Financial Education: A Must For Today’s Workplace


Financial Education: A Must For Today’s Workplace
By Earl Brown, Certified Financial Educator (CFEd(r))

Financial Education is offered in the workplace by barely half of the corporations in the USA despite independent research showing its effectiveness. Financial Education for corporate workers is a critical requirement in today’s marketplace. In many cases it is not just for their investments, but in fact, for their very financial survival. Financial literacy in the workplace results in better employee engagement and employee retention.

Baby Boomers are not quite like previous generations who retired quietly, never to be heard from again. These Boomers saw their Defined Benefit Retirement Plans converted to Defined Contribution Plans in the early 1980’s. They recall Corporations and Third Party Administrators “TPA” promising “Golden Retirements” via their 401k, et al.

Many Boomers do not have enough time to recover from the crashes of the past decade. Most Boomers fear they will run out of money and be forced to a life of poverty. They no longer trust the system that failed them. Financial Education can be the powerful tool to help them plan and achieve their goals.

Lawsuits are on the rise against both Corporations and the TPAs, primarily for lack of performance of the Qualified Plans but also because the employee claims to have been captive, knew no better, and did not receive ERISA mandated Financial Education. It’s a costly scramble with most cases being settled quietly out of court, but Wal-Mart’s $25 Million dollar fine definitely made the news.

It’s not so much that Financial Education is a legal hot potato, but more so that it is the right thing to do. Employees work for a higher standard of living and eventual retirement. It is virtually impossible to become financially educated through trial and error. Financial Education can provide financial stability and peace of mind to many worried employees.

In a companion article that appears in this issue of PIHRAeScope concerning Financial Education, the writer indicates that company HR personnel and SHRM researchers prove the effectiveness of Financial Education courses. The article explains that the benefits derived from Financial Education are shared by both the corporation and the employees who had completed the program.

The corporation benefits because worker-participants regularly show:

Increased productivity Competitive Advantage Increase in morale
Fewer errors Better company spirit Fewer accidents
Less sick time Fewer Requests for 401k loans Better attitude


More Employee benefits:

Coordinated planning with Spouse Joint Financial goals are developed
Budgeting correctly focuses assets An “agreed-to” Financial Plan can develop
College funding alternatives are discovered The importance of Debt-reduction is taught
Couples assume responsibility for their personal retirement plan.


Heartland Institute of Financial Education was a pioneer of Financial Education in the workplace. “HIFE” is a national non-profit institute working in concert with a consortium of colleges and universities who have endorsed a Financial Education curriculum for adults in the workplace.HIFE attracts qualified experts from a variety of professional fields, trains and tests them in accordance with presentation principals embodied by the consortium. As Certified Financial Educators, (CFEd®, a FINRA recognized designation) they are then allowed to teach workplace groups in a non-solicitous manner. Here are a few of the many corporations that have instituted financial education in the workplace

Federal Reserve Bank NASA McDonnell Douglas Honeywell
Trammell Crow Company ADT Chrysler UAW Coca Cola
Shell FCU WYLE Lockheed Martin Jacobs

…and scores of smaller firms of 50-500 employees.

Financial Education presented in your workplace can bring you, your corporation and your employee’s tremendous benefits.We know you’re overworked and you have too many tasks on your “To Do” list, but try to carve out just fifteen quick minutes to learn first-hand, of the multitude of benefits a Turn-Key Financial Education program can deliver.Be their hero and call us at: (949) 252-5340. If you plan to attend the PIHRA Annual Conference Aug 27-29, please stop by our Booth #120. We’ll have a drawing featuring a gorgeous piece of Waterford Crystal for a lucky winner’s desk. Please mention this article and we’ll give you two chances to win the crystal.

Please Contact Earl Brown
4540 Campus Drive Ste 115
Newport Beach, CA  92660
(949) 252-5340



  1. Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Gerstein Fisher which is an independent investment advisory firm that manages assets on behalf of individuals and families and helps clients with their financial goals.

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