Your employer can help you save money and improve your financial well-being

November 30, 2018

By Janice MacLellan, Vice-President of Operations, the Canadian Payroll Association

We’ve all been there. Pay day rolls around and you excitedly check your printed or electronic statement. 

After deductions, and once you’ve paid all of your regular bills, it can sometimes feel like there’s not enough left to put into savings. We all know how important savings are, but we may not be saving as much as we want to.

The good news is that 71% of employees are trying to save more than a year ago, according to a survey published in September by The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).  

Regardless of what you’re saving for, you may need help with how to meet your savings goals.

Depending on your employer, you might be able to make automatic deductions directly from your paycheque that contribute to your savings goals — either for an emergency savings fund, retirement, a major purchase, or other expenses. 

Pay yourself first 

Many organizations offer “Pay Yourself First” programs that allow employees to put away a portion of each paycheque to pay down debt or contribute to savings. 

The CPA recommends that employees take advantage of this option when it’s offered as these automatic deductions come off your pay before you have a chance to spend that money. 

If you are unsure if your employer offers a program of this type, we encourage you to speak to your payroll representative to understand your options. 

Your employer may already have a program like this in place. In fact, the majority (53%) of employees we surveyed say their employers offer a “Pay Yourself First” option, allowing them to contribute to their financial goals.

Yet just under half (44%) of employees whose company or organization offers this option say they do not participate in the program, meaning that many Canadians are not taking steps that can help them improve their financial wellness in the long-term. 

 “Pay Yourself First” programs are worth taking advantage of because they put you in control of your money and, as a result, can help you reduce financial stress. Taking steps towards meeting your savings goals, paying off debt, or ensuring you have an emergency fund through an automatic deduction means you take home less pay each time. But it can help you out in the long run. 

Demand for financial education in the workplace

Companies and organizations are uniquely positioned to help employees take action and save, and can also provide financial literacy tools and resources. 

And this is something employees tell us they want: 84% of employees say they are interested in receiving financial education programs through the workplace.

If you are an employer, you can leverage your payroll department to empower employees to improve their financial wellness. 

For financial wellness resources for employees and employers, or to learn more about the CPA survey results for 2018, visit Employers interested in implementing a “Pay Yourself First” program can consult the CPA’s practical guide found at our website



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