For Immediate Release - December 03, 2015

Treasurer Deb Goldberg Releases Report On Financial Literacy In Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA - Thursday, December 3, 2015 ­­ Treasurer Deb Goldberg, accompanied by her Financial Literacy Task Force released their statewide report on the status of financial education in the Commonwealth.

“I have always understood the responsibilities of the Treasurer's office include ensuring economic stability within our state,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “This means building a robust financial literacy program, which is a critical step toward strengthening economic security for everyone in Massachusetts.”

The Task Force, under the direction of the Treasurer's Office of Economic Empowerment, launched a comprehensive research effort in April. The diverse group of policymakers, educators, bankers and advocates convened for sixth months. Their goal was to develop the roadmap to resources that will empower every Massachusetts resident with the skills they need to manage their money, plan for college, save for retirement, and better understand the impact of their economic decisions.

"Implementing the recommendations of this Task Force will make a difference in the quality of the lives of Massachusetts citizens of all ages and backgrounds,” said former Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony, who chaired the Task Force. “The Task Force work presents the vital roadmap for the future of financial literacy in our state."

Some initiatives within the report include: increasing accessibility to all financial education activities and programs throughout the state, promoting a public financial education awareness campaign, communicating the family dynamic principle to stakeholders, and incorporating it in all financial literacy programming within the Office of Economic Empowerment.

The 31 task force members identified three key demographic groups, K-12 students, college students and adults for the largest scope of fiscal impact on the state. The Task Force’s final report serves as an action plan for the State Treasurer and the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board.

“Though we are keenly aware all adults can benefit from financial services, the adult subcommittee of Treasurer Goldberg’s Financial Literacy Task Force determined low-to-moderate income families, first generation immigrants, women, seniors, and veterans are particularly vulnerable and have set forth recommendations to insure their financial well-being throughout their lifetime,” said Sylvia de Haas Phillips, subcommittee co-chair and Senior Vice President of United Way.

“Our Task Force understands that each individual or family in Massachusetts encounters numerous decisions around finance almost daily, and their financial education and understanding and/or access to information to make sound financial decisions is crucial,” said Todd Ostrowski, subcommittee co-chair and board member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. 

“As the Task Force found, student loan debt is a significant burden facing many college students and their families in Massachusetts,” said subcommittee co-chair and director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston Ann Bookman. “It negatively impacts both individuals and our economy as it can delay major life decisions such as buying a car, a home, getting married, and even having children. The report offers thoughtful recommendations to address the student debt crisis, such as public loan forgiveness programs - especially those geared toward low-wage professionals, such as early education teachers – that will help address this challenge facing so many college graduates.”

On day one, Treasurer Goldberg created the Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE), led by a deputy treasurer with the deliberate goal of incorporating a range of economic empowerment initiatives, including financial literacy, college affordability and programming to support wage equality.

For more information on the Office of Economic Empowerment visit www.mass.gov/treasury or by following the hashtag #EqualPayMA.

To read the full report, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/treasury/empowerment/finlit/taskforce/

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