Voluntary benefits and financial wellness have become buzz words in the benefits world in the past few years as employers strive to help their workers save more for the future and improve their overall finances.

Studies have shown that employees who have a lot of financial stress have a hard time concentrating at work and have lower productivity.

Companies like Financial Finesse and SimpleFi work with organizations to give them and their employees the tools they need for better financial health, including student debt repayment and financial wellness programs.

Also see: New benefits help employees shed their debt weight

Atlanta-based Purchasing Power is the newest entrant to this space, with a financial wellness platform through its employee purchase program that is offered as a workplace voluntary benefit. The platform takes a holistic approach to financial wellness, offering a core financial education program, free credit reports, alternative credit reporting and rewards for saving money and reducing debt.

Also see: Discount purchase programs struggle amid sea of voluntary offerings

“Employees today need more assistance to improve their financial wellness. They need tools and resources to help them take control of their total financial future and reduce their financial vulnerability,” says Richard Carrano, president and CEO of Purchasing Power.

The online platform is provided to workers whose employers offer Purchasing Power’s employee purchase program as a voluntary benefit. It offers three segments: Learn, a personalized assessment and financial education resource; Access, which offers free traditional credit reports and alternative credit reports to get approved for financial products; and Build, free one-on-one coaching, incentives for engagement and rewards for saving and paying down debt.

Also see: Financial stress remains, despite improving economy

Purchasing Power is partnering with four companies to provide the service: LifeCents, a Web-based, core financial education program that helps consumers improve their financial understanding and behaviors through financial assessments and goal-setting; SaveUp, a financial management site that promotes saving and debt reduction through the use of incentives; eCredable, an online tool that offers alternative credit reporting; and Quizzle, a website that offers free credit reports and information about debt and credit.

Paula Aven Gladych is a freelance writer based in Denver.

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