UBS revamps student loan, financial wellness benefits; announces new Morningstar partnership
Wealth management giant UBS added new benefit offerings on Thursday aimed to improve employees’ personal finances, including a partnership with Morningstar and other vendors to address student loan debt, retirement and overall financial wellness.
The offerings will be added to the existing UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions platform — launched in January — which received a facelift to allow the service to offer one-on-one coaching and digital tools. UBS currently provides benefits to 10,000 employers and their 2 million employees.
“Financial wellness programs help employees feel less stressed about their personal finances, and more focused at the job at hand,” says Michael Barry, head of workplace wealth solutions, at UBS Global Wealth Management, about their platform.
Barry noted that the changes match their strategic objectives, and will help employees understand their corporate benefits and improve their personal finances.
“We want to help employees develop a better relationship with their money and employee benefits by offering more robust financial wellness that touches them where they are today,” he says.
UBS partnered with FutureFuel.io to deliver student loan benefits to clients. FutureFuel.io offers multiple options for tackling student debt, including refinancing and payment plans — all of which are tailored to individual situations through individual consultations. Their programs can be tailored to graduates of all ages, and even parents who cosigned on their children’s loans. The digital benefit claims it can help employees save $15,000 in accrued interest and pay off their student loans four years earlier.
“There’s a tremendous amount of student loan debt in this country — from the stockroom to the boardroom,” says Laurel Taylor, founder and CEO of FutureFuel.io. “Eighty-six percent of student loan borrowers say they cannot participate in retirement savings; unless employers can help them get a handle on student debt, they’re not going to be well positioned for future financial health.”
UBS is also making it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans to their workforce. The firm partnered with Morningstar to create the digital platform UBS’s Retirement Plan Advisor, which will leverage Morningstar’s expertise to advise small businesses of the best investments and retirement strategies for their specific company. The new offering will combine one-on-one consultations with retirement experts and digital alerts to keep business owners up to date with investments.
“A third of small firms don’t receive fiduciary advice from companies like ours; identifying investments and managing the performance of funds is critical and takes away some of the burden on these companies’ shoulders,” Barry says. “That way they’re able to focus on growing their business, and ensuring their employees’ financial futures.”