BlackRock Inc.’s industry initiative to help low- and middle-income Americans avoid emergency saving is gaining momentum as it expands its circle of corporate partners.
The money manager has won five new companies for the Emergency Savings Initiative, a $ 50 million philanthropic commitment made in 2019 to help struggling Americans build a financial safety net.
New to the initiative are payroll company ADP LLC, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc., financial technology company Self Financial Inc., regional bank Truist Financial Corp. and the digital bank Varo Bank NA.
The lack of emergency savings is hindering long-term financial health and causing many people to avail of their retirement savings during the pandemic, BlackRock said in the press release announcing the new corporate partners. BlackRock cited a survey by Commonwealth and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association that found that retirement plan participants without liquid emergency savings were twice as likely to receive a payout or loan from their retirement accounts as those with savings.
The five new companies are committed to working with BlackRock’s nonprofit ESI experts on a variety of projects to make it easier for people with modest resources to make emergency savings. For example, Truist plans to roll out new emergency savings services for its customers while Best Buy is looking for ways to improve its current employee savings program, BlackRock said in the press release.
The five work closely with BlackRock and the nonprofit industry experts Common Cents Labs, a financial behavior research laboratory at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. Commonwealth, a national not-for-profit organization focused on building financial security for the financially vulnerable; and the Financial Health Network, a not-for-profit organization that provides research, advisory, and measurement tools on consumer financial health.
The five join a number of other companies participating in the initiative, including Voya Financial Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., and MasterCard Inc.