Financial Wellbeing and the Cost Of Advice


At one of our regular pension surgery meetings recently, I was asked by a twenty-something why there was so little by way of financial education done at school. He was bemoaning the fact that his school was somehow preparing him for a life ahead but was singularly failing to even tell him what a credit card was, whether he should indeed have one at all and, if he did, how he should go about getting one. Fair points indeed. 

By coincidence, I was informed by this morning that this week is Financial Wellbeing Week, and that I could look forward to 5 days of news and information about the latest in areas such as Financial Education, Employee Engagement and the links between financial, physical and mental wellbeing. My breath is bated…

Naturally, I am all for promoting financial matters in the workplace – it’s my job after all. But there is often a disconnect between what should be done and what actually transpires. And, very often, the reason for this is that there is nothing quantifiable for people to allow them to do a cost-benefit analysis. Few employers, quite understandably, will throw money at a problem if they cannot see what the likely result will be.

So, for a minute, let us toss aside the faddy terms of “wellbeing” and “employee engagement” and look at some of the outcomes that can arise from people being both informed and properly advised.

The Value of Financial Advice, published by International Longevity Centre UK with the support of Royal London, July 2017 came up with findings that more than cover why advice is important. The survey showed that: –

  • Individuals defined as affluent and who receive financial advice accumulate on average £12,363 (or 17%) more in liquid financial assets, and £30,882 (or 16%) more in pension wealth, than those who are affluent but non-advised.
  • Those who are described as ‘just getting by’, a less wealthy sub-set, but who receive financial advice, accumulate on average £14,036 (or 39%) more in liquid financial assets, and £25,859 (or 21%) more in pension wealth, than the just getting by but non-advised group.

Put another way, the first group is, on average, £43,000 better off than their non-advised peers while the second group are very nearly £40,000 better off.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that advice results in better outcomes.

So, how do employers go about ensuring their workforce has the access to information needed to achieve these outcomes?

One way is to have an appointed Independent Financial Adviser, pre-vetted by the employer, that staff have access to. The adviser can be put on a retainer by the employer for regular in-house sessions and any work that arises can be paid for using advice vouchers (that produce NI savings) or at a pre-agreed discounted rate (or both).

An alternative option is to set up a portal through which all employees will have 24/7 access to a variety of professionals (Independent Financial Adviser, Solicitor, Accountant etc.) of whom enquiries can be made as and when life situations arise.

Needless to say, both of the above are available through Richmond House Corporate Services.

This information is provided strictly for general consideration only. No action must be taken or refrained from based on its contents alone. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed for any loss occasioned in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction. Professional advice is necessary for every case.  Investments may fall as well as rise and you may not get back the full amount

Peter Murphy DipPFS


For more information on any of the matters raised in this article, please contact us at or call us on 0333 241 3350.