WASHINGTON, D.C. – The bipartisan U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy today announced the publication of its first Annual Report to the President, which contains 15 recommendations for steps that should be taken to improve the financial literacy of Americans of all ages. The 16-member Council unanimously approved the report during its meeting on January 6, 2009, and the full Annual Report is now available here.
Among the report's recommendations are calls for mandating financial education in schools for students in grades K-12; exploring tax incentives to encourage employers to provide financial education in the workplace; increasing access to bank accounts for the tens of millions of unbanked and underserved Americans; conduct ing research on the state of financial literacy in America and on the most effective ways to improve financial knowledge among Americans; and creating a self-administered "National Financial Literacy Check-Up" that would allow Americans to assess their own financial knowledge and providing links to trustworthy sources of information to help fill in the gaps.
"Financial literacy has never been more important than it is today," said Council Chairman Charles R. Schwab. "There is no question that the lack of personal financial literacy has been a major contributing factor to the economic and financial crisis in the United States. We believe that this report contains recommendations that will help Americans at all stages of life learn the financial basics so that they can manage their own money wisely, save for the future and navigate our complex economy effectively."
"The best response to this crisis is to put in place policies and practices that help to insure that something like this never happens again," said Council Vice Chairman John Hope Bryant. "Financial literacy empowerment of the individual is key to our future and the Council's Annual Report to the President speaks to this."
The Council, which is scheduled to remain in place through January 2010, plans to work with Members of Congress, the executive branch, the private sector and faith-based and non-profit organizations in the coming year to implement the recommendations.
About the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy
The President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy was created by President George W. Bush in January 2008 to advise the President and the Secretary of the Treasury on ways to improve financial literacy among all Americans. The 16-member Council includes representatives of non-profits, private sector companies, academia, state government and other organizations dedicated to the delivery of financial education. More information on the Council can be found at: http://www.treas.gov/PresfinlitCouncil.