Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella announced the receipt of a $100,000 grant that will promote financial wellness for more than 85,000 state employees, and create new programs for employees of Treasury and the Auditor General’s office. Treasury was awarded the grant along with the Department of Banking and Securities, the Office of Administration and the Department of the Auditor General. Treasury and its partners are one of 24 state and local government jurisdictions awarded grants.
“This significant grant will play a pivotal role in the expansion of current tools meant to improve financial wellness for every state employee and create new programs for employees at Treasury and the Auditor General’s office. The benefits for employees and their families will last long after this grant period ends. Treasury is excited to work with the Department of Banking and Securities, the Office of Administration and Department of the Auditor General, and I thank them for their partnership and commitment to better the financial wellness of the dedicated public servants of the Commonwealth”, said Treasurer Torsella.
Initiatives funded by the grant will encourage establishment of automatic savings through payroll deductions, engagement with financial coaching opportunities, and financial wellness surveys for employees of Treasury and the Department of the Auditor General. Another component of the grant project will allow the Office of Administration (OA) to develop video resources for its new website designed to provide financial wellness information for all state employees. OA will also work to host a conference on financial topics that will be archived and remain available on the website for future reference by employees and their families.
“More and more employers are recognizing the value of financial education for their workforce. Speaking as a fiscal watchdog, getting your arms around your finances is one of the best ways to create a more secure future for yourself and your family”, said PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
A 2018 study reveals 40% of Americans do not have $400 to cover an unexpected expense, and a recent poll conducted by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) revealed that 56% of state and local public employees and their families were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of respondents indicated worry about their family’s finances including fears of job loss, furloughs and pay and benefit reductions. Other research by SLGE shows that while 29% of state and local governments have financial wellness programs, 68% of employees would participate if offered.
The programs supported by the grant are expected to roll out later this year with completion in the fall of 2021.