CFPB Working for You: Promoting On-the-Job Financial Education

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Many companies have smoking cessation or weight loss programs to improve their employees’ health. Now, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is calling for businesses to take a new step – to help improve their employees’ financial wellness.

According to the CFPB, many Americans are so worried about money that it’s affecting their work performance. Seven of every ten American workers cited money as their main source of stress, and in 2012, about one in five workers took time off to manage a financial issue. As the CFPB points out, easing stress through financial education could dramatically improve morale and productivity.

The CFPB notes that the workplace is a natural spot to learn about money. It’s where workers receive their paychecks, and where many receive important financial benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.

Stories from consumers like Rita of Fresno, CA, show the need for more workplace financial education. Rita could use more advice on how to save for retirement. Her budget is too tight to allow much in savings, and she’s disappointed in the performance of her 401K. Rita says:

“The cost of living (basics like food, rents, gas, etc.) is so high now that we cannot save for retirement aside from our 401K plan which continues to lose money every quarter.”

The CFPB says that financial advice that’s tailored to an individual’s specific needs will help. For example, it describes the success of Pacific Research in Seattle, WA, which brought in an outside organization to teach workers one-on-one to prepare budgets, read credit reports, and handle debt collectors. The CFPB also advocates financial instruction for new employees and creating small support groups to help workers achieve their financial goals.

This is just one of many CFPB initiatives to make sure Americans maintain their financial health, and they deserve your continued support. Don’t let the CFPB be harmed by the big banks, who have lobbied lawmakers in Congress to introduce a slew of bills that would lessen the financial watchdog’s power to defend consumers. You can stop these bills by telling your representatives to fight for the CFPB!

Has the CFPB helped you improve your financial health? Please tell us about it!

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