For many Canadians, financial stress is simply a fact of everyday life. When you factor in making sure there’s enough money to cover day-to-day expenses, paying down debt, saving for emergencies and retirement, it’s certainly no surprise that people are worried about their financial future.

The upside is that workers are more willing than ever to look for professional help to manage their finances and get advice on retirement planning and managing their investments. Employers play an integral role in helping their employees get the help they want and the help they need.

This chart shows that eight in ten have had at least moderate amounts of stress over the past 6 months

Finding: dramatic growth in general stress between pre- and post-pandemic times is mirrored by the growth in financial stress. Data suggests employers can have a direct impact on the financial wellness of their teams beyond salary.


of respondents reported needing to take some kind of financial action because of the pandemic


Canadians said they would be more productive if they didn’t have to worry about their finances.


claim an employer-sponsored financial wellness program would positively impact their financial stress.

The Retirement paradox

Most people know they need to save for retirement. And yet only half actually have a plan to save for retirement. We call this the retirement paradox.

The silver lining:

  • Almost 60% would seek financial advice for retirement planning.
  • Nearly 90% of workers said meeting with a financial advisor would have some impact on how ready they feel for retirement,
  • With 48% saying it would have a major impact.
  • almost half would rather meet one-on-one with an advisor than seek information online.

Financial wellness programs play a key role in reducing financial stress

The vast majority of employees, in fact 93%, feel it is important for employers to offer financial wellness programs. 

Productivity gains to be found:

  • Almost 80% of workers believe that employer-sponsored financial wellness programs have an impact on reducing financial stress.
  • 74% say such programs improve retention.
  • 70% say they are more likely to recommend someone work for a company with a wellness program.
  • What’s more, 68% say that a financial wellness program would increase their job productivity.