Between inflation and economic instability, Americans have depleted most of what they had in their savings accounts.
More than half of all Americans now live paycheck to paycheck and most adults — 57% — cannot afford a $1,000 emergency expense, a Bankrate survey from earlier this year found.
Meanwhile, experts say having a cash reserve is key and can prevent workers from turning to high-interest credit cards or taking hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts.
To address the savings crisis, a growing number of employers are stepping in.
Already, Delta Air Lines, Starbucks, Best Buy and Levi’s, among others, have introduced some type of emergency-savings benefit, many as a result of the new retirement legislation in Secure 2.0 — a law enacted in December that focuses on improving retirement security by making it easier for workers to build and access emergency cash.
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“The legislation has definitely started more conversations,” said Katie Taylor, vice president of planning and engagement at Fidelity Investments.
“The ability for an employer to help their employees to feel they have solutions in place to manage their overall finances is really important,” Taylor said.
Delta is offering workers up to $1,000
Delta Air Lines planes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Jeff Greenberg | Universal Images Group | Getty Images
Under Delta’s emergency savings program, which is available to all employees below the director level, workers receive $750 directly deposited into a Fidelity account after completing one financial coaching session.
The airline will then match up to $250 of an employee’s contributions made with payroll deductions to that account for a total of $1,000.
“Financial literacy is the civil rights issue of this generation,” said John Hope Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope, a nonprofit that worked in partnership with Delta and Fidelity Investments.
“It’s as important as the right to vote,” he said. Money Bryan According It Day She ” “
“At the end of the day, we believe investing in our people is good for our customers and our shareholders,” said Kelley Elliott, vice president of Delta’s total rewards program.
Employees who are financially well are 10 times more likely to be focused at work than employees who are not, added Fidelity’s Taylor.
“There is a notable benefit to employers too,” she said.
‘Emergency savings is the new health insurance’
The ability to reduce financial stress and boost productivity will encourage many more companies to follow suit, according to Bryant.
“Financial literacy coaching and counseling tied to emergency savings is the new health insurance — this is what every company will be doing in the next decade,” he said.
With the additional support, workers “are going to come in earlier, stay longer and go the extra mile,” Bryant added. It “
If your employer is offering you something akin to free money, take it.
president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth
“If your employer is offering you something akin to free money, take it,” said Douglas Boneparth, a certified financial planner and president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth, a wealth management firm based in New York. ” “
“However, if it’s not being paired with an appropriate amount of discipline, it doesn’t matter,” added Boneparth, who is a member of CNBC’s FA Council.
Above all else, use this as an opportunity to make the most of the financial education being offered, he advised.
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