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New report shows how employees are using their benefits

How are employees using their workplace benefits? Are they participating? Are they optimizing the programs and resources available to them? Does engagement and financial wellness vary by gender, age or marital status? And, how can these insights inform our ongoing work together to help employees prepare for retirement and be more successful in their daily financial lives?

Click here to view 2021 Financial Life Benefits Impact Report

Our 2021 Financial Life Benefits® Impact Report helps answer these questions through meaningful metrics, trends and themes that highlight how employees are engaging with our proprietary benefits programs. The report also shares trends on plan sponsor adoption of new plan design features and services as well as an update on the growing usage of digital and ESG* investments.

Key insights from the report include:

  • Even amid the pandemic, employees made progress toward their retirement with average 401(k) account balances increasing from $74,000 to $81,000.

    Bank of America’s Retirement and Benefit Plan Services (Retirement and Benefit Plan Services) which is part of Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM), the wealth and investment management division of Bank of America Corporation. Client balances consist of assets under management, client brokerage assets and deposits of GWIM retirement plan participants held at Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, 2020.

  • Women continue to trail men across financial wellness metrics, with a financial wellness score 9 points lower than their male counterparts.

    Financial Wellness Tracker Report, December 31, 2020.

  • Employees are taking control of health care expenses, increasing their Health Savings Account (HSA) balances by 17% and investing these savings to help cover future health care expenses.

    Bank of America Health Benefit Solutions Product, 2020.

  • The number of companies offering Bank of America’s Employee Banking footnote1 and Investing footnote2 program to help with everyday financial needs doubled over the last year. footnote3

    1 Bank products are available from Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks.
    2 Investment products are available from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
    3 Bank of America Employee Banking & Investing Program, full year 2020 vs full year 2019.

  • Plan sponsors continue to use plan design to engage employees, reaching an average participation rate of 86% when using automatic enrollment features.

    Bank of America’s Retirement and Benefit Plan Services (Retirement and Benefit Plan Services) which is part of Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM), the wealth and investment management division of Bank of America Corporation. Client balances consist of assets under management, client brokerage assets and deposits of GWIM retirement plan participants held at Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, 2020.

  • More employees are benefiting from equity compensation, with more grants awarded in 2020 than the previous year; in addition, the dollar value of equity awards increased by nearly 10% in 2020.

    Bank of America Equity Stock Purchase Plan Reporting, 2020.

As employees navigate an increasingly complex financial journey, understanding these trends and nuances allows us to have constructive dialogue and work together to support employees’ financial wellness needs and goals. These insights will help us continue to innovate Financial Life Benefits®—our comprehensive offering that includes retirement✝︎, health savings‡︎, equity✝︎, banking‡︎ and investing✝︎ to help meet a continuum of financial needs, short-term through long‑term and virtually everything in between.

Key takeaway

Download the report, and reach out to your Bank of America representative to discuss the findings and how they might inspire new strategies to improve your workplace benefits programs.

Provide personalized, holistic and actionable financial wellness resources. We can help structure a financial wellness plan or optimize your current program.

Stay current on workplace benefit trends by tapping into our thought leadership that digs deep to understand how to serve the financial needs of employees throughout their life stages and across a spectrum of topics.

* Impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) managers may take into consideration factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities, which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Further, ESG strategies may rely on certain values based criteria to eliminate exposures found in similar strategies or broad market benchmarks, which could also result in relative investment performance deviating.

✝︎ Investment products are available from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

‡︎ Bank products are available from Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks.