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Consider adding credit union to benefit roster

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

A credit union in New York City has begun an aggressive push to improve the fiscal well-being of workers whose employers offer credit union membership as an employee benefit. McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union’s new Financial Wellness Center in Lower Manhattan—thought to be the first of its kind in the nation—offers financial counseling, investment advice, on-site training kiosks and online courses in money management.

Membership in the credit union is available as a benefit to employees of more than 50 sponsoring organizations, including the American Management Association, the National Hockey League and Radio City Music Hall. Credit union membership could be a low- to no-cost addition to your roster of employee benefits.

A McGraw Hill statement said its financial wellness center “provides resources to employers, allowing them to educate employees on how to take greater control of their finances, resulting in fewer financial worries, less stress, better health and increased job productivity.”

It’s the kind of benefit employees need. In a 2014 Society for Human Resource Management survey, 61% of HR professionals described their employees’ overall financial health as no better than “fair.” And 37% reported that financial stress has caused employees to miss work.

While 81% of large employers provide retirement planning and financial literacy resources as employee benefits, many small employers don’t.

It is fairly easy to add credit union membership as an employee benefit—a call to a local credit union will get the ball rolling.

Credit unions are nonprofit institutions that are owned by members. They are typically chartered to serve a specific group of members having some common affiliation, such as military service, occupation or employer. In fact, hundreds of the 6,900 credit unions in the U.S. were originally organized by employers to provide financial services to their employees.

Credit unions generally offer higher interest rates on savings, lower fees and lower interest rates on loans than traditional banks do. Credit unions pioneered the direct-deposit and paycard payroll systems that most employers now use. Most participate in a nationwide network of 30,000 fee-free ATMs.

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