The second annual America Saves Week was conducted February 24 through March 2, 2008. A large coalition of groups led by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council set out to:
- Raise the profile of the savings issue and the need to save,
- Provide the public with opportunities to assess their savings progress, and
- Provide the public with concrete steps to improve their savings habits.
Over the course of America Saves Week:
- More than 600 hundred organizations, agencies, financial institutions, non-profits and companies participated by reaching out to employees, customers, members or the general public;
- Over 75,000 people attended over 1,800 events;
- Over 25,000 enrolled as “Savers” through America Saves or affiliated local Saves campaigns, or took the Military Saves Pledge;
- Over half a million people saw information about America Saves Week on the web;
- Millions were reached through press in major markets including Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, among many others;
- A new website, www.AmericaSavesWeek.org, provided info and advice to individuals and organizations; and,
- Saves Week was recognized with a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH). The Governors of Tennessee and Washington, along with many other elected officials, issued proclamations or other statements of support.
Some highlights include the following:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service had educators in nearly 30 states participate, reaching an estimated 6 million people through the media, internet, advertising, mail and direct contact. In Florida and Utah, extension agents planned events in every county.
- WorldatWork, an association of human resource professionals, offered one-on-one financial counseling to employees and promoted the week in publications and on its website, which are read by more than 30,000 employees and customers.
- The Federal Reserve Board offered daily savings tips to employees, and made savings publications available in lobbies and cafeterias. Over 50,000 employees were reached.
- Several state agencies participated, including the Washington State Department of Retirement Services, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System, and the Ohio Treasurer. Activities ranged from promoting workplace savings programs to offering events and financial counseling.
- Over 30 local organizations spear-headed Saves Week campaigns, including North Carolina Saves, which enrolled over 2,500 new Savers, and Cleveland Saves, which had over 700 people attend events.
- More than 200 military banks and defense credit unions accepted millions of dollars in savings deposits. In order to spur savings, many of these institutions offered new savings products like match gifts or special savings rates.
America Saves Week 2008 Activities
The Federal Citizen Information Center, General Services Administration will offer a free package of saving and investing publications, which consumers can order via the Money and Investing pages of its USA.gov web portal. Participating federal agencies and private-sector partners include the Department of Labor, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, , AARP, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and MetLife.
FDIC will participate and provide direct support to over 15 local, and statewide “Saves” campaigns, including: Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Maryland, South Carolina, Arkansas and several others. FDIC will provide financial literacy and savings training, Money Smart curriculum CDs, and in some cases piggy banks and other give-aways to each newly enrolled saver.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, is promoting America Saves Week by linking to www.americasavesweek.org from the National Consumer Protection Week site at www.consumer.gov/ncpw. NCPW is March 2-8, 2008. This year’s NCPW theme is “Financial Literacy: A Sound Investment”.
Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System
MOSERS is promoting America Saves Week to staff and members through the following initiatives: a February Lobby Show, an electronic payroll stuffer to active state employees, a notice to state HR representatives with link to flyers, and a feature article on MOSERS website. Presentations to MOSERS’s staff will be given on Missouri’s 519 College Savings Plan (MOST), Deferred Compensation Plan, and MOSERS Money Matters Workshop. In addition, throughout the month of February, trainers are promoting America Saves Week at educational seminars and posters will be displayed throughout the agency.
Ohio Treasurer of State
The Ohio Treasury, under the leadership of Treasurer Richard Cordray, plans to incorporate the Saves message into all of its community education programs with the goal of increasing personal finance education and savings for all Ohioans. By delivering the savings messages at over 60 events through the year, the Treasury expects to reach a combined audience of 5500 that includes senior citizens, youth, teachers and public fund managers.
Securities and Exchange Commission
Through a new “America Saves Week” web page, the Securities and Exchange Commission will promote online resources that can help individuals save for retirement and other financial goals more effectively. In addition, the SEC will partner with other participating organizations to promote a package of print brochures focused on saving and investing wisely.
84 Airman & Family Readiness Centers worldwide will provide information and host events in support of the Military Saves Campaign. The installations have the flexibility to be creative in how they attract savers. Four Air Force installations will host the Military Youth Saves Campaign as a pilot through their Youth Programs. These installations are Eielsen, Lackland, Minot and Mountain Home AFB.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’’s Cooperative Extension Service
Extension in nearly 30 States will carry the savings message to an estimated 12.2 million youth and adults from high schools to free tax preparation sites. At the national level, Extension announces www.extension.org where experts are on hand to answer financial questions.
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) continues the Build Wealth at Work campaign, providing information to workers to help them plan a secure retirement, with publications including Savings Fitness and Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning, now available online with interactive worksheets. EBSA’s website will link to AmericaSavesWeek.org.
Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSCs) Navy-wide have been maximizing Military Saves Week efforts by utilizing partners. Financial educators at FFSCs are working with their installation banks and credit unions, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and many more to bring fun and educational events to Sailors and their families. Examples of partnerships include hosting recreational and educational events geared toward single Sailors at Liberty Centers, and Child and Youth Programs
Washington State Department of Retirement Systems is promoting “America Saves” week on its http://www.drs.wa.gov website with one sentence promotions linking to http://www.AmericaSavesWeek.org . Emails promoting “America Saves” will be sent to over 1,300 employers to share with their employees.
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions supports America Saves Week and encourages participation in numerous Wisconsin financial literacy activities throughout the year including the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy, the Money Smart Week Wisconsin campaign, the Money Conferences, and April Saving and Investing Month.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
The AICPA sent an email, with links to America Saves Week print resources co-branded with the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy logo, to 54 state Certified Public Accountant societies to encourage local involvement in the Week. On February 25, a Feed the Pig weekly savings tip will be sent to the 68,000 subscribers to raise awareness of America Saves Week and to encourage the opening of a banking and/or savings account.
The Armed Forces Financial Network is making information about America Saves Week 2008 available to over 300 financial institutions. (CYP) Navy-wide participating in the Youth Saves component by implementing The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Money Matters Program.
Center for Financial Services Innovation
CFSI will use its unique position as an industry leader on underbanked financial services issues to promote America Saves Week to our stakeholders through focused attention in the monthly newsletter, in our Roundtable sessions, and on the website.
CUPA-HR is including information on America Saves Week in its eNews publication, which is distributed to member institutions and will encourage those institutions to promote the Week. In particular, member groups are encouraged to re-engage employees in a dialogue on saving, investing, and participating in employer-sponsored and personal savings programs.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
During Saves Week FCCLA chapters in 120 schools representing 17 states hope to reach over 10,000 students with the important message of saving. FCCLA members hope to enroll 3,000 to 5,000 new savers motivating them to save $15-20 per month for 10 months.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation has encouraged nearly 2,000 subscribers to its newsletter — and more than 15,000 subscribers to the FINRA Investor Education newsletter — to become savers during America Saves Week. In addition, the Foundation is a founding and continuing funder and supporter of Military Saves.
InCharge Education Foundation placed a full-page “Take the Saver Pledge” ad in the Spring 2008 issue of Military Money magazine, which is distributed to a worldwide military circulation of more than 200,000. The Foundation also discussed Military Saves Week and MilitarySaves.org in February’s Military Money Insider e-newsletter, which is distributed to approximately 8,000 readers.
The International Foundation for Employee Benefit Plans has taken both an external and internal focus for America Saves Week. It has designed two payroll stuffers to be used in February – one focusing on saving for Christmas and a second for maximizing benefits through participation in flex-savings, 403(b) and other plans. During the week of February 25th, America Saves Week will occupy the banner headline on the IFEBP Web site and will click to a page dedicated to saving, including a pulse survey of the day, savings tip of the day, and reading materials.
The Jump$tart Coalition promoted America Saves Week at its January Board Meeting, featuring remarks by Ken McDonnell and Nancy Register; and encouraged the 48 Jump$tart state affiliates to recognize America Saves Week.
National Council on Economic Education
In conjunction with America Saves Week, and central to it, the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) is convening and conducting the third national summit on economic and financial literacy, on Wednesday, February 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington DC. This major event will spotlight the key issue of savings and will feature prominent speakers from both the private and public sectors. More information about the summit is available at www.ncee.net/summit.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has been encouraging its 113 Member Agencies to participate in America Saves Week by partnering locally. The NFCC will send a Press Release during the Week endorsing the effort, and will host a Special MSN Money Message Board Event on the topic of Savings with estimated consumer page views of over 100,000.”
New America Foundation
The New America Foundation, in association with the Congressional Savings and Ownership Caucus, will host a Capitol Hill event, Beyond Stimulus: Addressing Savings Needs Throughout a Lifetime, as part of America Saves week. The event will include experts who are thinking beyond the economic stimulus package and present new research and policy options to encourage savings to meet short-term, precautionary expenses; middle-term, asset goals, including homeownership; and longer-term, retirement savings needs. More information about the Beyond Stimulus event is posted at http://www.newamerica.net/events/2008/beyond_stimulus
NASAA brings a Fraud Prevention focus to America Saves Week 2008 by encouraging its extensive grassroots investor education network of state securities regulators across the United States to participate by hosting presentations, sending out news releases and generating letters to the editor in their jurisdictions. NASAA’s message is simple: “Protect Wealth through Fraud Prevention.”
SaveAndInvest.org, a project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, is hosting 11 military financial education forums in California during “Military Saves Week.” We are prominently featuring the “Saver Pledge” on the SaveAndInvest.org homepage, in print advertisements, and in our print and online newsletters. We have also encouraged approximately 400 participants in our Military Spouse Fellowship Program to assist in Military Saves Week activities worldwide. Finally, we provide ongoing funding and technical support to CFA to make Military Saves a reality, including Web redesign and PSA distribution.
United Way is proud to partner and support the “America Saves” messaging and movement of our system during this week and throughout the year. We promote saving and recognize its importance in the financial stability of individuals and families.
WSCPA is sponsoring an essay contest for high school students and has students in high school with DFI and Consumer University to co-brand posters that will be distributed to almost 1700 teachers across the state. The teachers will be provided with information on America Saves Week, the essay contest, resources available and information on a trainings for teachers offered by the three organizations. Savings bonds will be given to the top 100 students. Additionally, WSCPA is participating in the financial fair being organized by Rod Nichols at Associated Ministries. WSCPA will have CPA presenting information on predatory lending, payday loans and subprime lending, as well as an information table with resources for the general public.
The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) is supporting America Saves Week by sending an email alert to its partners, adding a special feature to the wiserwomen.org website, and highlighting a checklist, 10 Ways to Become Financially Wiser!
American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association and its Education Foundation are encouraging more than 350 employees to make saving a priority during America Saves Week. Savings tips, ideas for action and resources will be available on the association’s Intranet site. The Foundation also encouraged banks nationwide to participate in America Saves and Military Saves Week through The Spirit of Banking e-newsletter. In addition, ABA Senior Counsel, John Rasmus, serves as the co-chair of the Military Saves National Partners Committee, which seeks to engage trade and professional associations and their members to support the Military Saves program.
American Council of Life Insurers
In honor of America Saves Week, ACLI is co-sponsoring a briefing for policymakers about the other side of the savings equation—managing savings to last throughout retirement. ACLI also will prominently feature “America Saves” on our website with information on making the most of your 401(k) and investing your tax refund for the long term.
American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries
The more than 6,400 members of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) support the promotion of increased saving by Americans. Each year, ASPPA conducts dozens of conferences to educate, train, and promote best practices for experts who serve millions of Americans to reach retirement with financial security. By promoting private and employer savings plans, and pension plans, ASPPA is a catalyst WORKING FOR AMERICA’S RETIREMENT.
The Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) is a charter member of the Military Saves Advisory Committee and has member banks on 87 military installations in the United States. AMBA banks participate with local installation commanders in promoting Military Saves Week. A few examples of the banks’ activities include Military Saves inserts in customer statements, advertising in local base newspapers, providing financial education classes promoting saving, donating savings bonds for drawings and door prizes during Military Saves events, offering special “no-fee” savings accounts, emphasizing proprietary savings account programs and offering monetary and other incentives for opening savings accounts.
Consumer Bankers Association
The Board of Directors of the Consumer Bankers Association has passed a resolution saluting America Saves Week, and commending it to the attention of all member banks. Some of those banks already participate, and CBA believes “Saves” can make help make significant progress toward financial health for America’s families. CBA banks hold 75% of consumer deposits in the US.
As the direct link to credit unions operating on military bases worldwide, the Defense Credit Union Council is actively involved in promoting and encouraging defense credit unions to participate in the Military Saves program. In particular, members are encouraged to reach out to military youth and children. DCUC has provided each of its active member credit unions a financial education program for youth and young adults and is recommending its use throughout the campaign and beyond. Additionally, DCUC sponsored the BBB Military Line so they could further their consumer education and advocacy efforts for military personnel.
National Association of Federal Credit Unions
NAFCU endorsed the America Saves campaign via press release to financial press. NAFCU also encouraged its credit union members who serve millions of member-owners to participate in the campaign by accessing the resources available online.
American Express Company
American Express Company is encouraging its 30,000 U.S. employees to save by offering a free one-on-one financial planning service as well as offering retirement planning education seminars later in the year. We are also encouraging our employees to use websites like www.americasavesweek.org and www.choosetosave.org to assist with their financial education and reaching their financial goals. We are promoting all of these programs on our US-wide and local intranet sites.
Bank of AmericaStatement of Jeff Carney, President, Bank of America Retirement and Global Wealth & Investment Management Client Solutions Group: “For many Americans, the act of saving is easy to put off until tomorrow; we promise ourselves we will get to it after we buy the newest flat screen television or take a vacation to the latest hot spot. With America Saves Week, we can all make a commitment to embracing a program that helps Americans begin to realize their retirement dreams by managing for today and planning for tomorrow. By making savings automatic, we’ll ensure it happens with minimal effort. So go ahead and fund an interest bearing savings account from your checking account, or enroll in a 401(k) plan at work, or consider funding an IRA in small increments each month.”
Capital One provides philanthropic support of America Saves, as well for the D.C., Texas, and Louisiana Saves campaigns. Capital One has proudly supported America Saves since 2006.
Edelman Financial Services, LLC
Ric Edelman, nationally renowned financial advisor and radio host, is featuring a guest appearance by ASEC Chairman Dallas Salisbury on The Ric Edelman Show during the weekend of Feb. 23-24 to discuss America Saves Week. Edelman’s show is broadcast in 17 major markets nationwide. Edelman also promoted America Saves Week in the February issue of his monthly newsletter, Inside Personal Finance and on his Web site, www.RicEdelman.com.
The Hartford is supporting America Saves Week with an announcement on the week and a variety of educational articles and resources for employees appearing throughout the week on our company intranet. The communications will reinforce the key goals of America Saves and highlight various retirement planning resources available to our employees.
MetLife has created online banners for its internal and external websites to raise awareness of America Saves Week and the tools and resources available. MetLife will also publish a series of internal newsletters which will provide tips and tools to help MetLife associates become better savers.
National City has Youth Saves presentations in Louisville and Indianapolis, will speak at the Champaign County Illinois Financial Summit and a workshop in Pennsylvania. National City is also working with Cleveland, Columbus and Miami Valley Saves, and with several schools and churches.
A “web ad” on Towers Perrin’s intranet will remind our employees of the importance of long-term savings. The ad will link to information, tools and advisory services from our vendor partners, to help participants identify and track progress toward their personal financial goals.
WaMu is supporting America Saves Week by offering financial education seminars in local communities and offering financial counseling to interested consumers. The company is also promoting the Week to its employees through company-wide communications that encourage saving.
WorldatWork is organizing a financial seminar led by the executive director of Arizona Saves, offering one-on-one appointments on site to enable employees to meet privately with a certified financial planner, and is featuring an article in member publication workspan, read by 30,000.