SaverLife expands financial wellness benefit platform
SaverLife, a national nonprofit fintech company, has launched SaverLife Solutions, a program that partners with employers to offer a digital savings platform.
The SaverLife Solutions program is a white label online service where employers can customize a plan that is designed to meet the needs of their workforce. Employees sign up using their email and link their savings account to the platform. The program provides incentives for employees to save money by offering employer sponsored matches or cash prizes. Employees can also set personal goals and access financial education resources.
“Having savings in the bank is a really critical piece of financial security and financial stability,” says Leigh Phillips, CEO of SaverLife. “But not everyone does. The Federal Reserve finds that 45% of Americans don’t have $400 in savings in order to weather an emergency.”
Financial stress is a top concern among employees. Indeed, and an increasing number of employees are admitting to being stressed about their finances, according to PwC’s annual employee financial wellness survey. Employees note that cash flow and debt challenges are a continual plague that inhibit their ability to save sufficiently.
The SaverLife Solutions program officially launched in November with new funding of $1.5 million from the Prudential Foundation, to enable SaverLife to expand on an earlier yearlong pilot program. The pilot reached 392,000 people through employers, credit unions, and community based organizations.
Levi Strauss is one of SaverLife’s employer partners. The apparel company participated in the pilot program, launching the Red Tab Foundation as a financial safety net for employees.
Levi was seeing a lot of their employees, particularly in retail and distribution centers, going to the employee assistance fund the company was offerening for every day financial issues, rather than the emergencies the fund was set up to help with.
“They were seeing a trend of people who weren’t coming for one off emergencies like a funeral expense or broken water heater or something else large and unexpected,” Phillips says. “Employees were going for more day-to-day expenses like falling behind on bills or routine car repairs.”
As a result Levi became more interested in helping employees deal with these issues “and savings is obviously the best way to handle unexpected expenses,” Phillips says. The Red Tap Foundation matches employees’ savings up to $40 a month over a six month period.
“Employers are a really great place to talk about these types of benefits because people are used to accessing other types of supportive benefits,” Phillips says.
The most common of these benefits would be 401(k) and other retirement savings programs. But not everyone is able to save for retirement, she notes.
“But if employees don’t have enough financial stability to weather those day to day emergencies, what we find is helping people build a savings habit is then a really great way to begin [saving for retirement],” Phillips says. “If you just start talking about retirement savings that can feel out of reach for a lot of people.”