Voya offers financial planning solution for clients’ furloughed employees

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Voya Financial has teamed up with financial wellness platform Savvi Financial to provide a COVID-19 planning tool designed to help employees who have been laid off, furloughed or working reduced hours as a result of the pandemic.

Through its retirement and employee benefits businesses, Voya will offer Savvi Financial’s COVID Relief Planning Assistant to its own staff and its workplace clients as an online resource to help employees navigate the financial challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, over 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment as a result of COVID-19, according to the Department of Labor.

“What we were trying to solve was, how do we help people who have so much choice overload, figure out the right series of choices to solve their particular goals,” says Andrew Frend, senior vice president of strategy and product for Voya’s employee benefits business. “What this tool does uniquely is it takes the depersonalized delivery of benefits and really helps the individual determine how best to get the most out of their benefits.”

Major companies including General Motors, Under Armour, Best Buy, and Tesla have either laid off or furloughed a number of their employees. About 81% of Americans believe that significant layoffs are still likely and 38% report some type of impact to their household’s employment as a result of COVID-19, according to recent data from Voya. Households are struggling to figure out their revised budgets and identify potential resources to access additional funds.

If an individual has lost their income or had their income reduced, Voya’s COVID planning tool provides educational resources or an action plan that adjusts their household financial plan by organizing assets, debt, expenses and existing income to create a strategy to help get through the next three to six months.

“When you factor in that the CARES Act enables different options to allow people to do things to weather the storm, we've deployed this tool that people can describe what their particular circumstance is and the tool spits out specific recommendations on what choices they can make,” Frend says.

Employees will be provided with a link to the online tool by their employer or retirement plan sponsor. They will then be guided through a series of six questions, which will ask them how they’re feeling about their overall financial situation and collect key financial household information. The program asks if their healthcare coverage has changed during the crisis and will collect other necessary financial and employer information. If the employee qualifies for COVID-19 relief planning assistance, they will then receive a personalized, short-term financial action plan.

“This is an emotionally and financially challenging time with millions of Americans out of work, a roller-coaster stock market and an array of new government programs — people need help to make sense of their options,” says Gina Mourtzinou, CEO of Savvi Financial.

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