Lexington, Ky. (April 22, 2019) — Coinciding with April as National Financial Literacy Month and the University of Kentucky's benefits open enrollment, UK Human Resources highlights three financial benefits available to employees. They are:
- Enrich, a free online platform for personal finance;
- retirement savings plans; and
- up to five free consults a year with a certified financial planner (CFP®).
For participating in any of these three benefits by June 30, employees will receive extra perks: a UK phone wallet and entry to win weekly drawings for an iPad and more prizes. For more information, visit the Human Resources website.
A new UK benefit this year, Enrich, offers online tools to help people make money decisions.
In 2017, UK launched iGrad, Enrich’s counterpart product for students. Todd Macaulay, UK HR’s financial well-being officer and certified financial planner, offers free consults to employees and saw an opportunity to extend this best-in-class online financial wellness platform to employees.
When you create a profile with Enrich, it asks a few questions to help you understand your money personality. This personalization feature is designed to help you understand the “why” behind your money decisions. Enrich then recommends specific videos and tips, or you can browse a range of financial topics, including planning for retirement.
UK offers one of the most generous retirement benefits in the region, a 200 percent employer match. When you contribute 5 percent of your base salary, UK contributes 10 percent, depositing 15 percent of your base salary into future savings.
Macaulay urges employees to participate as soon as they’re eligible, even before participation is required at age 30.
“If you’re not participating in UK’s matching retirement savings, you’re missing out on a 10 percent salary increase,” Macaulay said.
Macaulay also encourages all employees, especially anyone nearing retirement, not to overlook their additional retirement savings benefits.
“Our plans offer flexibility for saving on your taxes now or later, which means there’s benefit in contributing at any age,” Macaulay said. “If you’re planning to retire soon, UK’s catch-up provisions could allow you to set aside up to $50,000 tax deferred. That’s a unique benefit to employer-sponsored plans and not typically available with outside investment options.”
Another benefit available to employees is up to five free consults with Macaulay. “It’s rare, based on my experience and benchmarking, for an employer to offer free consults with a certified financial planner,” Macaulay said.
As a CFP®, Macaulay is held to a higher standard of ethics than similar professionals, which requires prioritizing the client’s interest when offering guidance.
“I put your interests first and listen to you about what you value,” Macaulay said. “Everyone approaches money differently and has a different history with money.”
Macaulay encourages employees to meet with him for proactive or reactive reasons. He sees clients on a range of topics which include securing their family’s financial future, planning for retirement, adjusting to a change in income, buying or selling their home, struggling with bills and loan payments, and generally wanting to improve their financial well-being.
“In any situation, I will offer guidance and referrals and support you in any decisions you choose to make,” Macaulay said. “Because many of us don’t have enough social support for talking about the difficult subject of money, I think the greatest value I provide is being a willing participant in a supportive conversation."