Canadian workers being affected by financial health issues

Sun Life report finds financial concerns are distracting Canadians at work

Canadian workers being affected by financial health issues
The newly released 2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index has found that almost a third (29%) of Canadians are distracted at work because of their financial situation.

The study found that among the four top drivers of uncomfortable stress levels for Canadians, three involve financial challenges: 45% of respondents worry about personal or household finances, 32% worry about trying to maintain a budget, and 31% worry about unexpected expenses.

One third of the respondents also reported insecurity over their general financial health. Asked what the most significant barriers to improving their situation were, 48% of respondents said they were hindered by their current income, 25% said it was debt from their mortgage and credit cards, and 24% said it was their current situation in contract and temporary work.

"Financial health is an important component of our overall health and wellness because it has a direct impact on our day-to-day lives, at work and at home," said Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Financial Canada. “While it's important to understand how to budget, plan for retirement, manage debt and be prepared for the unexpected, it's not always easy to do this on your own.”

To help Canadians cope, Dougherty recommended that they work with a financial advisor. He also suggested that employers stand to benefit from supporting their employees’ financial well-being. “Employers have a role to play in supporting their employees' financial health," Dougherty said. “Offering workplace savings plans, access to a qualified financial advisor and encouraging participation in financial education programs can help reduce stress in the workplace. This access and opportunity to save can help build a healthier and more engaged organization.”

Among the tools employers can provide for their employees’ needs is a workplace pension plan with a matching component; on their own, Canadians can also create their own retirement savings plans through annuities, segregated funds, RRSPs, and TFSAs.

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