Life & Work Connections adds financial, legal and relocation services
This is the first in a three-part series that highlights new services being offered through Life & Work Connections.
Benefits-eligible employees now have access to financial, legal and relocation services through a new partnership between Life & Work Connections and ComPsych, a global provider of employee assistance programs.
"In this ever-changing world, it is important that we continuously examine how we support our employees," said Josephine Corder, director of Life & Work Connections, part of the Division of Human Resources. "Through this expansion, we are able to expand support services and create more opportunities for access."
The first benefits of the partnership came in April 2021, when the office expanded employee assistance counseling services, allowing benefits-eligible employees, their dependents and members of their household up to 12 free counseling sessions per person, per issue, per year. Financial, legal and relocation resources followed in January 2022.
"We want to be an employer that enables each member of our community to achieve their best, both professionally and personally," Helena A. Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer said. "Expanded services offered through ComPsych is just one initiative to address the different needs of our diverse workforce."
Navigating the world of personal finance can be time-consuming and stressful – and often it's hard to know where to start. Life & Work Connections is helping benefits-eligible employees navigate budgets, savings, taxes, retirement and more through expanded financial resources, including free access to financial specialists and planners.
"We want employees to have the tools and support they need to meet their financial goals, whether it's creating a basic budget, planning for retirement, buying a house or handling an unexpected expense," Corder said.
Through ComPsych FinancialConnect, employees can now access free unlimited, on-demand financial guidance from a team of certified financial specialists and receive referrals to local community providers. These certified financial specialists can help with a broad range of issues like family budgeting, credit problems, tax questions, estate planning, insurance and money management.
"We're a great first step for any kind of financial issue that's presenting a problem – doesn't matter what it is," said John Jones, team leader for ComPsych FinancialConnect. "We try to provide good information that is easy to understand and helps them to take action."
It can take as little as 10 minutes to get an answer or guidance to additional resources. For more complex issues such as credit card debt, complex tax issues and retirement planning, employees can receive a free referral to a local provider, although their services may cost a fee.
Get help from Fidelity and TIAA
For additional support in planning for retirement, any benefits-eligible employee, whether they are enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan or the Arizona State Retirement System, can consult with TIAA or Fidelity for free.
"We provide financial advice because we want University of Arizona employees to be engaged with their retirement plan," said Aaron Knode, communications consultant director with TIAA. "We really want them to take advantage of our advice, whether it's online, through the phone with the phone representative, or with one of our local representatives."
Employees can schedule a consultation with a financial professional and discuss different issues. These can include a review of their overall retirement savings portfolio – no matter where their retirement assets are – and help with budgeting, debt management, emergency savings and financial basics.
"Many people don't have a goal or a plan and don't know where to start," said Dan Anderson, communications consultant director with Fidelity Investments. "A financial professional can assess where someone is at financially, find out their goals and help create a plan to help them get there. It doesn't matter if you're young and starting out in the workforce, or if you're about to retire, or somewhere in between."
Both TIAA and Fidelity offer live workshops on topics such as debt management, income diversification, retirement income and more. TIAA also offers access to Savi, a tool that can help employees navigating federal student loan repayment and forgiveness programs.
Visit the Life & Work Connections website to learn more about these financial wellness resources and to find upcoming workshops.