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March 29, 2022

How Data Can Help Track 401k and Financial Wellness

Artemis Health

When you think of employee benefits, what comes to mind first? Likely health insurance, including medical and prescription drug coverage. Dental and vision might cross your mind next. A 401k or another retirement plan is probably high on the list. It’s something most job seekers are looking for when they are exploring their options, and it’s key to providing a comprehensive benefits package for most organizations. 

However, when you think of employee well-being or wellness programs, 401k and other financial benefits aren’t likely to be top of mind. At Artemis Health, we’d argue the definition of employee well-being has shifted in recent years, with more and more benefits teams focusing on the whole person. 

Often called “total well-being,” employee well-being is a broader concept that takes into account the physical, mental, financial, and social health of employees and their families. 

A circle chart showing the overlap between physical, mental, financial, and social health.

You’ll often see the concept of “well-being” illustrated as four parts of a whole. Indeed, those working in well-being see physical, mental, social, and financial health as inextricably linked together. If one isn’t addressed, is off-balance, or is suffering, a person cannot truly be “well.” On the other hand, if all parts of the puzzle are being addressed and nurtured, a person is achieving total well-being. 

For benefits professionals, employee well-being strategies offer a more holistic approach to measuring, encouraging, and incentivizing employee health. This strategy can include a number of benefits programs, but also takes a less “tactical” approach; it’s more about creating the right conditions for healthy employees instead of incentivizing specific actions or programs. 

Taking this into account, what are the right conditions for employees and their families to achieve financial well-being? Let’s look at the data to find out. 

The Artemis Platform helps benefits leaders track key metrics and demographic data around members on their plans. We looked at our sample data to find some interesting insights. 

A table showing some data around 401k plan participation.

You can see from this chart a few key pieces of information:

  • While roughly 14,000 people are on the plan, just about 3,000 are contributing to the 401k plan 
  • Members on this plan earn an average of $86,000 per year, and that trend is going up 
  • However, the minimum annual salary for plan members has dropped by 34% over the last year
  • The average employee age is 50 

Because we want to get a holistic view of employee well-being, we also wanted to use the sample data to get a baseline of the health costs for this member population. You can see that the sum of the allowed amount for medical costs is rising this year compared to last year, and that the plan saw a 5.8% increase. 

Table showing costs for sample health plan.

Now let’s look at wellness program participation. Are members engaging with other types of programs in their benefits package? 

A table showing wellness participation numbers for sample employee population.

We can see that roughly a third of this sample population is participating in some kind of wellness program, and unique participants are climbing. Now let’s look more closely at demographics around participation in the 401k benefit. 

Show bar charts showing some demographics for 401k participation.

As you can see from the above chart, we have divided the members into age bins or groups to get a better sense for which employees are the most likely to contribute to their 401k accounts. Somewhat surprisingly, employees in the 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59 are roughly equally likely to be saving for retirement. The percentage of employees participating ranges from 19.3% to 20.8%, which highlights an opportunity for member education. A benefits team may want to boost 401k participation by scheduling informational sessions, highlighting their matching dollars, or using targeted communications as employees near retirement. 

Finally, let’s take a look at risk scores and see if wellness engagement, including financial wellness, can help members lead healthier lives. 

A comparison chart showing that risk scores are higher for people who don't contribute to their 401k

Across the board for all age groups, employees engaged with wellness programs and participating in the 401k plan have lower risk scores. While this analysis was done with sample data, you can see that engagement with financial wellness correlates with healthier, less at-risk members. 

Artemis can help benefits leaders track employee financial wellness over time. As we’re seeing increasing inflation in the news right now, a benefits team might also track a reduction in 401k contributions. They could use this information to conduct salary reviews, evaluate annual cost of living increases, and plan for the future of their financial wellness programs. 

Are you interested in learning more about Artemis Health’s benefits analytics tools? Watch our 2-minute demo video to see how we can help. 

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