Goals for Phase 3 of our research on EFWPs include:

  1. Help employers design EFWP services that address the needs of employees, reflect employee preferences, and are informed by research evidence.
  2. Rigorously assess EFWP services’ impact on employee financial well-being in different domains: consumption and hardship, credit, debt, emergency savings, and retirement savings.
  3. Assess whether offering EFWP products and services to employees affects turnover, absenteeism, employee loyalty, and employee satisfaction with benefits packages to determine whether a business case can be made for offering EFWPs.
  4. Study a wider range of EFWP products and services, such as payroll advance apps, emergency savings programs, and student debt repayment initiatives.
  5. Determine which types and dosages of EFWP services have the greatest impact on employee financial well-being and employer outcomes.
  6. Further understand how employee and employer outcomes associated with EFWP services vary in relation to industry, occupation, work conditions, and employee and household characteristics.
  7. Summarize and synthesize research evidence on EFWPs to offer guidance to employers and policy makers.

Key assumptions:

  • EFWPs offer an opportunity to reach and positively impact LMI households at greater scale than community-based programs alone.
  • A wide range of EFWP services are available and it is unlikely that one-size-fits-all.
  • Services such as financial coaching or credit-building counseling represent efforts to help LMI employees manage existing resources, yet employees need access to non-predatory loans and opportunities and incentives to build emergency savings to decrease demand for credit and reduce risk for hardship.

Strategies to achieve these goals include:

  • Recruit employers that want to implement an EFWP or are in early stages of EFWP implementation and want to learn from action-oriented research.
  • Conduct efficacy studies of different types of EFWP services using random assignment or quasi-experimental designs to assess outcomes among employees.
  • Partner with employer associations and stakeholder groups to disseminate findings and facilitate efforts to translate findings into improved employee benefit practices.