Some employees shy away from financial wellness benefits, worried their colleagues or boss may uncover information they'd rather keep private, such as a bankruptcy filing or an out-of-control credit card balance.
Privacy is a legitimate concern, and many employers will put in place safeguards to protect employees' information. At the same time, you also can conduct your own due diligence.
“Ask about privacy,” says Gregory Hammer of Hammer Financial Group in Schererville, Ind. “Ask about the procedures and policies in place” to keep your data confidential, he adds.
For instance, you'll want to check where and how your information is stored, and who can access it. If an outside firm is managing the financial wellness program, will your information stay with that company? How will they protect it?
Meeting your needs
Another common question is whether the advice offered will be tailored to your needs, or instead, if it will be geared to financial products the company behind the wellness program is trying to sell.
While many wellness benefits are agnostic—that is, their sole focus is education—a few programs do offer proprietary solutions, says Mark Singer, CFP and president and founder of the Financial Literacy Toolbox. “That's neither good nor bad, but should be disclosed,” he adds. That way, you can make an informed decision about your participation.