In Tough Economic Times, Many Receptive to Savings Advice, Opportunities
Washington, DC– Organizers report record participation in this year’s America Saves Week, as millions were reached with savings advice, encouragement and opportunities. Participation measures like savings account activity, campaign enrollment, and coalition size were up significantly from 2008.
“In this tough economy, more and more people are realizing how important it is to reduce debt, live within your means, and learn to save,” said Nancy Register, director of America Saves.
The America Saves campaign along with the American Savings Education Council coordinated activities for the Week activities, including the work of hundreds of partners and local Saves campaigns.
“Our efforts are designed to not only educate the public, but to stimulate behavior change by providing real, concrete opportunities for participants to begin or improve their saving,” said Ken McDonnell, program director for the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the American Savings Education Council.
Over the course of America Saves Week, conducted Feb. 22 – March 1, 2009:
- Some 2,000 organizational partners participated, including government agencies, financial institutions, non-profits and companies;
- Over 100,000 people attended events including educational classes, financial fairs, free tax preparation assistance, and deposit campaigns;
- Over 27,000 people enrolled as “Savers” through America Saves or affiliated local Saves campaigns, or took the Military Saves Pledge;
- Nearly 20,000 people opened or added to savings products, saving $47 million;
- Over 3.4 million people saw information about America Saves Week on the web;
- Over 30 million were reached through the press;
- 49 states saw local activity;
- The U.S. House of Representatives recognized the Week with a resolution, sponsored by Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL), co-chairs of the Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus.
- The Cooperative Extension Service had educators in 29 states participate in the Week. Nearly 60,000 people attended Extension-led events, and educators reached nearly 14 million through the media.
- In conjunction with Military Saves, every Navy installation and Navy Youth Center around the world held events for the Week. Additional events were held at Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps sites.
- Over a million members of the military and their families received new publications on saving and investing from the Investor Protection Trust, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, and the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
- The Social Security Administration produced new fact sheets and other products to help the public understand and plan for retirement, which were promoted during the Week. The agency also began mailing a new statement insert to workers between the ages of 25 and 35, about saving and investing. The agency also reached out to staff.
America Saves is a national initiative in which 1,000 organizations encourage and assist Americans, especially lower-income households, to save and build wealth.
The American Savings Education Council is the leading voice on promoting the issues of saving and retirement planning in America today. The Council brings together public and private-sector partners to share information on best practices and to collaborate on financial security initiatives.