Has the pandemic pushed many to forgo the angst of making a resolution this new year? As we approach 2022, Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), has released new findings from a consumer research survey revealing that nearly one-third (31%) of Americans say they are not planning to make any New Year’s resolutions in 2022.
Begging the question of “why?,” the results of Voya’s survey suggest that, nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans might be seeking to re-focus their priorities. For example, Voya’s survey also revealed that when asked specifically what resolutions individuals do plan to make in 2022, more than half (60%) noted an interest in improving their overall wellbeing, with 44% noting a focus on physical health and 31% on their mental health.
“For many, it may seem refreshing to see that perhaps many Americans are taking a more holistic view of what’s valuable to them as we approach almost two years of pandemic life, and we understand that the impacts of the pandemic have shifted priorities for many individuals,” said Heather Lavallee, CEO of Wealth Solutions for Voya Financial. “With the much needed focus on what is most important and valuable, it seems that a good number of Americans are ready to take a pass on the resolution ritual this year. That said, it is reassuring to see that those who are planning to do so are most focused on their physical and mental health.”
New year, new generation of saving
At the same time, the financial impact felt by many individuals as a result of the pandemic still remains a reality. As a result, many noted a stronger focus on financial changes they are likely to focus on in 2022, indicating that the importance of financial security has not gone to the wayside. Voya’s research shows a large number of individuals are likely or extremely likely to: save more for emergencies (76%); reduce or pay down their overall debt (72%); and save for retirement (72%). Interestingly, these numbers are even higher for those generations who might have been more so impacted financially during the pandemic with Generation Z (89%) and millennials (83%) noting that they are likely or extremely likely to save more in general.
“We continue to see interest in making changes to feel more financially secure, which is something we have found consistently since the beginning of the pandemic. But what’s most encouraging is the continued interest in saving for those generations who may have been impacted from job loss or furloughs throughout the pandemic,” added Lavallee. “And we’re seeing this shift to more positive savings behaviors in our own data as well — as more than 60% of Generation Z and millennial workers who changed their savings rates in their workplace retirement plan during the third quarter of 2021 increased their contribution.”1
As individuals continue to focus on building back savings and improving their overall financial well-being, many also appear to be seeking support from their employer to help them get back on track. When asked about the importance of employer-offered benefits, Voya’s survey also revealed that the majority of individuals rank the following benefits as important or extremely important: employer-sponsored retirement savings (82%); flexible work hours (77%); mental health benefits (72%); short-term/long-term disability income insurance (76%); and whole life or term life insurance (69%).
“With these findings in mind, and for those employers who are looking to help their employees as we approach the new year, we recommend considering reminding employees of the benefits and resources that are available to them at the workplace, whether that may be an employee assistance program, a resource for helping with elder or child care, or making the most of their benefits to achieve those more financially focused resolutions,” said Rob Grubka, CEO of Health Solutions for Voya Financial. “The reality is that we often find many individuals don’t recognize how many great resources are available to them — and many without cost — directly from their employer.”
As an industry leader focused on the delivery of health, wealth and investment solutions to and through the workplace, Voya Financial is committed to delivering on its mission to make a secure financial future possible for all Americans — one person, one family, one institution at a time.
All data unless noted otherwise is based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through Ipsos on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,004 adults aged 18+ in the U.S., featuring 500 Americans working full-time or part-time and 277 millennials (167 working full-time or part-time). Research was conducted Nov. 23-24, 2021.
1. Internal Voya retirement plan participant data as of Sept. 30, 2021.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that help Americans become well planned, well invested and well protected. Serving the needs of 14.8 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.6 billion in revenue in 2020 and $718 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Sept. 30, 2021. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; the No. 1-ranked financial services firm among Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for three consecutive years; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.
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