Morneau Shepell's New Online Financial Planning Service Helps Users Plan Their Financial Future

Service educates and arms individuals with tools to resolve their financial concerns.

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - At a time when people are slowly beginning to pay off their credit card bills from the holidays, Morneau Shepell Ltd., under the Shepell•fgi Employee Assistance Program (EAP), has introduced a new service to help employees not only resolve their current credit crunch, but also address their more complex financial concerns. The new Online Financial Planning Service allows users to create financial action plans tailored to their personal situation and regain control of their financial future.

According to a recent report released by Morneau Shepell in 2010, 63.2% of the time that users accessed their EAP for financial assistance, it was for personal debt and/or credit issues. This was followed by divorce/finances at 8.7%, bankruptcy at 7.4%, retirement at 5.7% and taxes at 4.6%. Significantly less were requests for investment planning purposes, indicating that employees were too concerned with current debt to plan for their future.

"What is needed," explains Kevin Sorhaitz, Partner, Pension Consulting, Morneau Shepell, "is to combine debt counselling with investment education, so that employees have a better understanding of how current debt is connected to future retirement."

Available 24/7, the service provides users with unbiased educational information and resources on credit/debt management, budgeting, bankruptcy, the financial aspects of separation/divorce, financial emergencies, retirement planning, employment transitions, and real estate. Users can access interactive worksheets and tools online—such as the personal debt consolidator tool or retirement savings calculator.

Designed as part of a holistic suite of services, Online Financial Planning Service complements existing financial, legal, mental health and work/life balance supports currently offered through the EAP.

"It's no surprise that debt causes great anxiety and stress for people. It's important to not only treat the cause, but also the effects. Take, for instance, someone who is recently divorced with children. We can help them regain a solid financial standing while lessening the stress of dealing with the divorce and new obligations like finding child care," says Rita Fridella, Senior Vice-President, Operations and Chief Clinician, Morneau Shepell. "This integrated approach means we can guide employees to the professionals and full continuum of care that they need."

Online Financial Planning Service is available to EAP members and their families by calling the Care Access Centre or via Online Access at workhealthlife.com.

Morneau Shepell Ltd.

Morneau Shepell is the largest Canadian-based firm offering industry-leading benefits and pension consulting, outsourcing, as well as health and productivity solutions. The company works with clients to develop end-to-end insights and solutions that integrate with their business strategies to achieve results. Through Benefits and Health Solutions Consulting, Pension Consulting, Health Management, Administration Solutions and Shepell•fgi's Employee Assistance Program, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive positions by supporting their employees' financial security, health and well-being.

Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves over 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 2,500 employees in offices across North America, we provide services to organizations across Canada, in the United States and around the globe.

Morneau Shepell Inc. is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). For more information, visit www.morneaushepell.com.

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Ltd.

For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Anita Wright
416 383-6464
awright@morneaushepell.com

Jerry Amernic
416 284-0838
jamernic@morneaushepell.com

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Morneau Shepell Ltd.

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