Sep 30, 2009

Financial Literacy Research Consortium

A press release from Social Security:

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced the establishment of a new Financial Literacy Research Consortium (FLRC), made up of research centers at Boston College, the RAND Corporation, and the University of Wisconsin. The FLRC, supported through five-year cooperative agreements, will develop innovative materials and programs to help Americans plan for a secure retirement.

“We have a responsibility to help the public understand the role of Social Security benefits and the need for them to save as they plan for their future,” said Commissioner Astrue. “Consequently, we have launched a research initiative to better inform the public about retirement saving options.”

The FLRC will tailor materials for Americans at different stages of their working lives - new workers, mid-career professionals, near-retirees, and those who have already left the workforce - to address the different challenges these individuals face. The FLRC also will help traditionally underserved populations better understand the path toward a secure retirement.

“The consortium constitutes an impressive collection of expertise and resources with a deep understanding of issues related to financial literacy,” Commissioner Astrue said. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with the FLRC as well as with other federal agencies with similar missions. In these challenging economic times, this partnership will help Americans to solidify their financial future.”


Anonymous said...

For those not in the know, "financial literacy" is a contrived concept which actually means that claimants will be expected to make all of their own decisions and navigate the SSA benefits maze on their own via the internet, because there will probably never again be sufficient staff at SSA to provide the public service that the taxpayers have earned.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Anon@1, this is an initiative for all the American people, not just beneficiaries. It is about people knowing how much they will need to retire and where SSA fits into that picture.

Nancy Ortiz said...

Yes, more people need to understand how to plan for their retirements. But, somehow, I don't think that putting up a website with a decision tree or a calculator will accomplish that end. It's a matter of priorities. I can think of lots of things that the public needs more than this--ummmm, jobs maybe? How about Hearings? People to answer their questions or issue their decisions?

This is the sort of thing you do when you literally have so much money in the budget you have to sit down and come up with something--oh, I don't know--executive and important sounding to be sure you don't lose any funding. I'm feeling an attack of snark coming on and better get out of here.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be very much a Republican initiative, as Social Security is still very much a Republican agency. When Bush's privatization effort collapsed, my Republican friends started talking about the need for more financial education, since workers didn't seem to understand the value of private accounts.