Financial worries can impact productivity of Canadian employees

Lack of retirement readiness and money-related stress distract workers

Waterloo, ON (Mar. 17, 2016) – Manulife’s Financial Wellness study shows that almost half of working Canadians (42%) said that they felt distracted at work because they are worrying about money. The study also showed that people with a higher level of financial wellness are less distracted at work. Financial wellness is the level of confidence people have about their overall finances (budgeting, retirement, investing, managing debt), and 45% of Canadians say they have a low level of financial wellness.

“Financial wellness is not about how much money you have,” said Charles Guay, Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Institutional Markets, Manulife Canada and President and CEO, Manulife Quebec. “A person who has a high level of financial wellness is someone who is confident and knowledgeable about budgeting, retirement planning, investments, debt or insurance. Through this research we confirmed that we need to view our customers, and Canadians, holistically. That means not only helping them achieve their retirement goals but also addressing their near term needs as well.”

Manulife’s research reveals that feeling stressed and worried over financial matters is very common in Canada. The study showed that 70% of Canadians surveyed agreed that they worry about their financial situation often or sometimes, and among people with a low level of financial wellness, 85% worry about money often or sometimes.

Financial wellness scores

The study also shows that 73% of respondents with an overall low level of financial wellness scored poorly for retirement planning and 63% indicated they had high levels of finance-related stress in their lives. The majority of respondents with a high level of financial wellness scored well for budgeting and debt management, 61% scored well for retirement planning, and 76% scored well for stress management.

“Inspired by our latest research, we are introducing a unique online Financial Wellness Assessment that can help almost 1.8 million Manulife group retirement members. This assessment will help them learn their financial wellness score, and provide them with personalized action plans they can use to potentially reduce their financial worries,” added Guay.

Manulife’s Financial Wellness Assessment is an easy to use, interactive online experience designed to help members of Manulife group retirement plans self assess their level of overall financial wellness. The assessment presents them with a score and a personalized action plan to help improve their financial health. Manulife’s group retirement customers can find the assessment through their secure member site in the Financial Planning Resources section of the Learning Centre. The assessment will also be available soon to all Manulife group benefits customers, as part of the company’s goal of helping Canadians make important connections between their health and wealth.

About the Manulife Financial Wellness study

Environics Research Group surveyed 2,004 Canadians, 18 and over, in July 2015, asking them about budgeting, retirement, investments, debt, protection and stress. Respondents were equally split along gender lines, average age was 47, and quotas and weighting were used to ensure that results reflected the Canadian reality in terms of age, gender and region.

The 2015 survey was designed as a benchmark and is intended to be repeated annually to create an informative index to track Canadians’ financial wellness over time.

For more details about the Manulife Financial Wellness study, click here.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of December 2015, we had $935 billion (US$676 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.6 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation