Enabling American Families to Build Assets and Invest in their Futures

Nearly half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck, while many more live outside of the financial mainstream. In 2015, attendees in the Financial Opportunity Working Group will support families in preparing for financial emergencies, while they continue to invest in their futures. Together, attendees will address major issues such as student debt, regulatory requirements, tightened credit markets, and stagnant wages.

2015 Subtopics

Securing Retirement

Nearly 45 percent of households have no retirement savings, while many others struggle to save enough. Attendees will discuss how my Retirement Account (myRA), defined-contribution (DC), and defined benefit (DB) plans can be better leveraged for emerging populations.

Saving for Education

Studies show that children in low- to moderate-income (LMI) families with some college savings are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate. Attendees will examine how to increase college savings opportunities.

Investing in Homeownership

Homeownership has declined for the ninth year in a row due to tightened credit markets and increased borrower debt-to-income ratio. Attendees will explore how to promote homeownership for LMI families.

Creating Financial Slack

Many families struggle to bridge gaps of illiquidity and turn to expensive products as a result. Attendees will explore how to leverage key moments—including tax time—prize-linked savings, and borrow and save innovations to help Americans create financial slack.

Innovative Commitments

Barclays Dream Accounts

By: Barclays
Partners: Teach for America; State of Delaware; Utah Educational Savings Plan

In 2013, Barclays and its partners committed to launch “Dream Accounts,” a savings product for high school and college students with no fees or minimum balance. The new product rewards positive savings behaviors, such as regular monthly contributions, with a bonus on interest earned. Barclays and its partners also implemented an educational initiative to improve college continuation and graduation rates among low-income high school students through virtual peer mentorship.

Advancing Retirement Security with Illinois Auto IRAs

By: Woodstock Institute
Partners:Daniel Bliss; Barbara Flynn Currie; Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); AARP

In 2013, Woodstock Institute collaborated with several partners and committed to build support for a new statewide automatic enrollment IRA program in Illinois. The program helps advance opportunities for small business workers to build retirement assets and reduce retirement insecurity. In 2015, Governor Quinn (IL) signed into law an automatic retirement savings program for private-sector workers who do not have access to an employment-based retirement savings program.

Providing Financial Wellness Programs in the Workplace

By: Alliant Credit Union
In 2014, Alliant Credit Union committed to scale up its free Financial Wellness Program in the workplace to include an additional 100,000 employees by increasing education available through digital channels. Alliant Credit Union partners with large and small employers to bring financial education to the employees. Based on the results of assessment, the free program includes a consultation with the employer, a confidential Financial Wellness Assessment, a findings report and plan of action, and online and in-person education. This commitment is available to members and non-members of Alliant Credit Union.

Voices from the Meeting

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Mitchell Fox
Director of Product Management
Intuit Tax and Financial Center

Mitchell Fox, a participant in the 2014 Financial Opportunity Working Group, explains how TurboTax Health is helping Americans better understand their healthcare options under the Affordable Care Act. Read his story.

Featured Past Participants

AARP
Center for Financial Services Innovation
Citibank
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Credit Builders Alliance
Experian
ideas42
Intuit TurboTax
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
McDonald’s
NYSE Euronext Foundation
PayPal
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
The Western Union Company
TIAA-CREF