Wellness is Wellness White Paper

New Russell Investments & Sum180 analysis on workplace financial wellness programs finds effective employee engagement can overcome emotional resistance

Wellness is Wellness white paper describes key insights from psychology and behavior change theory that help employees act on what they learn in workplace financial wellness programs

Seattle, WA/Louisville, KY—December 3, 2018—Global investment solutions provider Russell Investments and Sum180, an online financial wellness service, today announced the availability of Wellness is Wellness, a new white paper for defined contribution plan sponsors that shows how the latest insights from psychology can be combined with technology to increase the effectiveness of workplace financial wellness programs.

Drawing on the principles of behavior change theory already being used for physical wellness initiatives, Wellness is Wellness describes management tactics, communication strategies for different generations, and personalized “gamification” techniques that inspire employees to move beyond financial literacy and take action to achieve their retirement goals. The paper is authored by Sum180 CEO Carla Dearing and Holly Verdeyen, senior director, Defined Contribution Strategy at Russell Investments.

“Employers are understandably surprised when employees reach a high level of financial literacy and still fail to act on that knowledge. Deep emotions around money foster paralysis, even for employees who know what they should do next,” Verdeyen said. “The good news for employers is that there is a clear path to more personalized financial wellness programs that truly connect with employees and they may already use some of these strategies in their health wellness programs.”

Wellness is Wellness covers:

  • The definition of financial wellness
  • Why employers offer financial wellness programs
  • Best practices for implementing a successful financial wellness program, including
  • social cognitive theory
  • positive psychology
  • stages of change
  • gamification
  • generational needs
  • the ‘silo’ issue impeding the integration of physical and financial wellness

Additionally, the paper includes an engagement case study, provided by Sum180, of The KFC Foundation’s financial wellness program.

“The number and type of financial considerations Americans face daily have increased significantly. Yet, many lack the expertise and tools to effectively manage their financial lives. Employers are in a position to enhance their employees’ work/life balance by providing them with financial wellness programs integrated into existing health and wellness offerings. The key is providing a program that can be personalized to meet individual needs—and being patient. Establishing new/good habits, takes time, but the effort delivers the very worthwhile return on investment of healthier, and more satisfied and productive employees,” said Dearing.

Wellness is Wellness may be accessed here.


About Russell Investments
With more than 80 years of experience, Russell Investments is a global investment solutions provider, dedicated to helping investors reach their long-term goals. Russell Investments offers investment solutions in 31 countries, manages $287 billion in assets (as of September 30, 2018) and provides consulting services on $2.4 trillion in assets (as of 30 June 2018). Russell Investments specializes in multi-asset solutions and investment and implementation services with a goal of delivering the best investment strategies, managers and asset classes to its clients around the world.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments operates globally with 21 offices, providing investment services in the world’s major financial centers such as New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai. For more information about how Russell Investments helps to improve financial security for people, visit russellinvestments.com.

About Sum180
Sum180 is a mobile financial wellness service that identifies users’ most relevant Next Steps to strengthen their financial picture—and makes those steps easy to accomplish.

Sum180 goes beyond traditional financial wellness services:

  • Sum180 is immediately engaging. Gamified mobile setup, tips, and easy budgeting offer instant insights and fun interactivity.
  • Sum180 offers highly personalized Next Steps—and the support to get them done. Personalized, right-sized Next Steps, how-to information, mobile tracking, and notifications for accountability empower action.
  • Sum180 provides coaching from financial advisers plus peer support. When users are ready to dig deeper into their financial picture, they have access to coaching from advisers and an online community of users, unfiltered, that allows them to explore and share.
  • Sum180 is independent and unbiased. Sum180 makes money from subscription and account fees, never from commissions on advice given.


Additional information about Sum180 may be found at https://hello.Sum180.com/.


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Steve Claiborne                                                   Robin Schoen
Russell Investments                                           Robin Schoen Public Relations (for Sum180)
206.505.1858                                                        215.595.7542
newsroom@russellinvestments.com              rschoen@robinschoenpr.com



Important information

Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type. The general information contained in this publication should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from a licensed professional.

The members of the Russell Investments group of companies are not affiliated in any manner with Sum180.

Russell Investments’ ownership is composed of a majority stake held by funds managed by TA Associates with minority stakes held by funds managed by Reverence Capital Partners and Russell Investments’ management.

Frank Russell Company is the owner of the Russell trademarks contained in this material and all trademark rights related to the Russell trademarks, which the members of the Russell Investments group of companies are permitted to use under license from Frank Russell Company. The members of the Russell Investments group of companies are not affiliated in any manner with Frank Russell Company or any entity operating under the “FTSE RUSSELL” brand.