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Morgan Stanley at Work Unveils Inaugural State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study

  • The pandemic led many employees to focus more attention on workplace financial benefits
  • Nearly all HR executives are placing priority on re-evaluating workplace financial benefits for 2022

Morgan Stanley at Work announced today the findings of its inaugural State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study exploring the attitudes and mindsets of employees and employers concerning workplace financial benefits.

Amid the “Great Resignation,” where employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers, the study reveals the power that holistic financial benefits, including wellness, can have in recruiting and retaining top talent:

  • Employees and employers agree companies could do more. More than four in five employees and nine in 10 employers believe their companies should be more involved in helping employees understand how to maximize financial benefits amid the pandemic.
  • Employees link financial benefits to retention. More than nine in 10 employees (91%) say they’d feel more invested in staying with their employer if offered financial benefits that met their needs.
  • Employees believe these financial benefits should be a priority—and employers plan to make it happen. In fact, 90% of employees say their company should prioritize re-evaluating its financial benefits package in 2022. Meanwhile, 95% of HR executives say their company’s re-evaluation of their financial benefit package for 2022 is a priority.
  • Employers see that there is more work to do. HR executives feel there is room for improvement to stay competitive, with 79% citing that lack of financial benefits will result in attrition.
  • Employees are paying more attention to their financial benefits. In fact, 61% of employees are now paying more attention to the financial benefits offered compared to a year ago. This is particularly true among Millennials, where 69% are more focused on reviewing these benefits.

“The pandemic-fueled uncertainty has led many employers to focus more attention on how to deliver financial benefits that meet their employees’ needs,” said Brian McDonald, Head of Morgan Stanley at Work. “Employees are now looking for employers to offer a full spectrum of financial benefits tools, and guidance to help them along the right path financially. As a result, those companies that offer a robust benefits package that includes retirement planning, equity compensation, student loan refinancing plans, and overall financial wellness benefits will differentiate themselves in the face of unprecedented competition for great talent.”

Additional findings are available in Morgan Stanley at Work’s State of the Workplace Study.

Methodology: The data from the Morgan Stanley at Work State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study comes from a survey of 1,000 U.S. employed adults and 600 HR executives. Quotas were set for both audiences to match representative distributions, including for company size, benefits status and seniority. The survey was conducted on behalf of Morgan at Stanley at Work using an email invitation and an online survey between September 21st and September 28th, 2021 by Wakefield Research (

About Morgan Stanley at Work

Morgan Stanley at Work offers a suite of financial solutions, which spans Equity Compensation through Shareworks and E*TRADE Equity Edge Online, Retirement and Financial Wellness Solutions. Morgan Stanley at Work combines cutting-edge planning and Morgan Stanley intellectual capital and financial education delivered through multiple channels to enable employees to build a holistic plan to achieve their financial goals. Employee stock plan solutions, including Equity Edge Online, are part of the Morgan Stanley at Work solutions and are offered by E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. Morgan Stanley at Work currently has offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Wakefield Research is neither an employee of, nor affiliated with, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”).

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and -investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

© 2021 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


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