The Inclusive Economy
Financial Security at Work Initiative Convenes at the White House
By Alicia Atkinson on 05/07/2015 @ 05:00 PM
Imagine the difference in low-wage workers’ lives if every major employer in the United States made financial capability services part of its benefit packages and professional development. CFED’s Financial Security at Work Initiative, generously supported by the Prudential Foundation, seeks to move that vision forward by expanding and improving opportunities for America’s low- and moderate- income workforce to build long-term financial security. We are partnering with employers to support innovative approaches to building employees’ financial security, while improving firms’ retention and productivity rates and contributing to broader economic growth. That’s why we were thrilled that the White House’s National Economic Council invited us to help convene a roundtable discussion last month with major employers who are invested in their developing their employees’ skillsets and overall well-being. The rich discussion helped illuminate a number of lessons that we will be exploring more in the upcoming months.
While income from a full-time job can help meet a household’s immediate financial needs, a job alone doesn’t ensure long-term financial security. Real financial freedom means that families must be able to weather emergencies, build transferrable wealth and plan for the future. Income is vital to this process—but it’s not the only necessity. Households also need knowledge and access to services that enable them to build healthy credit histories, amass savings and other assets, access affordable debt and decrease their expenses. Since most people spend a significant portion of their adult life at work—whether it’s in an office, a factory, a retail outlet or a home-based business—why not connect them to these products and services directly through the workplace?
With generous funding from the Prudential Foundation, CFED is pleased to announce that our Financial Security at Work Initiative will explore the workplace as a viable platform for expanding financial capability services and creating on-ramps for low- and moderate-income workers to build financial stability. Over the next year, CFED will convene employers to discuss how to help more workers and owners of small businesses become financially stable. As this work continues, CFED will be sharing lessons and insights that the field can use to drive both policy and practice.