JASON HEATH | Special to the Financial Post  | Published 

According to a study by Financial Finesse, a U.S. provider of employee financial wellness programs, 19% of employees reported high or overwhelming financial stress in 2011. That’s down from 32% in 2010, but still represents a significant cost to employers at 1 in 5 workers.

So what are employers doing about it? In fairness, many are experiencing that same financial stress themselves, both individually and at the corporate level. A common corporate financial decision has been to move more work-related financial responsibility to employees, in particular, in the area of pensions. In many cases, this is adding to financial stress in the workplace.

Many companies are freezing their defined benefit pensions to new hires and instead offering defined contribution pensions. So instead of getting a calculated pension in retirement and having the risk of providing that pension on the shoulders of the employer, defined contribution pensions require employees to make their own investment decisions and ride out the ups and downs of the stock markets. No wonder it’s tough to get employees to participate! read full article