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Good business: Ease financial stress for front-line workers

Apr 07 2015

Nearly 61 percent of 1,000 workers recently surveyed across all ages and incomes said they were moderately to severely stressed about their finances. Not surprisingly, people with lower-incomes felt more stress related to their finances. More than three-quarters of people (76 percent) with less than $50,000 in savings and investments said they experience money stress, which was significantly higher than people with higher incomes.

Aetna’s decision to improve wages and medical benefits for thousands of employees is a prominent example of a company trying to reduce the financial stress on its front-line workers. Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini recently spoke about Aetna’s decision at an event held by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Bertolini highlighted how this change not only benefits employees who are directly impacted, but can also help Aetna and its customers through improved productivity, increased loyalty and reduced turnover among these employees. He also spoke more broadly about the obligations that corporations have to the financial health of their societies and communities.

“I believe strongly that companies can do well by doing good,” Bertolini said. “Investing in people will spur the economic recovery by broadening participation in it.”

Bertolini spoke at the event along with Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. You can access a video of the event here, plus coverage from The Wall Street Journal here. To learn more about Aetna’s recent decision, see the resources below.