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Money Smart News - Spring 2015

News and Information about Financial Education from the FDIC

In This Issue

Message from the FDIC

Mark Pearce

In this edition of Money Smart News we are highlighting two related initiatives. The first, Money Smart for Young People, is a new set of educational materials for teachers, parents, and caregivers that can be used to educate children on how to manage their money. The second, our Youth Savings Pilot Program, promotes access to financial services for young people by connecting financial education in schools with the opportunity to open bank accounts and begin saving money. By engaging young people and their parents in discussions about key financial concepts and choices, we hope to enhance their financial capability and improve the likelihood that children and families will participate in the mainstream financial system. In addition to the benefits of safety and security, the FDIC believes that an account with an insured depository institution can be a stepping stone to economic opportunity.

We developed these new educational tools as part of our ongoing work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to improve financial decision-making skills among youth. As FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg remarked in announcing their availability, these tools are “an extraordinary step” forward for financial literacy.

The potential impact of these tools is enhanced by guidance that the FDIC and other regulators recently issued. This guidance encourages financial institutions to consider linking financial education initiatives, such as Money Smart classes, with programs that enable students to access a savings account. The guidance also addresses frequently asked questions that may arise as banks collaborate on youth savings programs with schools and other organizations. Keep reading for more details about these and other initiatives that can help promote economic inclusion, such as the U.S. Department of Treasury’s new “myIRA” retirement savings program (

Finally, we hope that you — and perhaps some of your colleagues — will find the FDIC a valuable resource and that you’ll check out current and back issues of Money Smart News to review the tips and resources we share. We also want to hear from you. Tell us which new tools you like the most and how we can make other ones better. Also let us know about promising approaches or successful strategies you use that involve Money Smart and you’d be willing to share with other educators in a future edition of our newsletter.

Whether you are asking for assistance or offering ideas, send us an e-mail at

Mark Pearce
FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg speaks during the launch of the Money Smart for Young People series and related resources at the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Partners Meeting in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2015.

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg speaks during the launch of the Money Smart for Young People series and related resources at the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Partners Meeting in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2015.

New Tools for Educators Working With Young People
A new Money Smart curriculum series for young people is now available. Four grade-specific, instructor-led products were launched in April 2015 for Grades Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Each curriculum includes an educator guide, teacher presentation slides, a student guide (for Grades 3-12), and a parent/caregiver guide. These standards-aligned curriculums can easily be incorporated into subjects such as mathematics and social studies. They can be downloaded free of charge from, part of a Web site that the FDIC and CFPB developed to support classroom instruction about money. Also available on the site are three new videos that illustrate practical ways teachers can integrate core financial education lessons into the classroom.

FDIC Youth Savings Program Prepares for Phase II
As previously reported in Money Smart News, the FDIC in August 2014 launched a two-year pilot program to identify and highlight promising approaches that combine financial education with the opportunity for school-aged children to open safe, low-cost savings accounts. Phase I of the Youth Savings Pilot consists of nine banks working with schools and nonprofit organizations. Now we are ready to roll out Phase II. On April 20, 2015, we asked insured banks for expressions of interest in Phase II, which targets programs that are new or expanding during the 2015–16 school year. Institutions have until June 18, 2015, to express their interest in participating. For additional information, visit:

Federal Agencies Encourage Institutions to Offer Youth Savings Programs
In February 2015, five federal agencies, including the FDIC, released interagency guidance that encourages insured depository institutions to expand the financial capability of young people by offering youth savings programs. The guidance also provides answers to questions that may arise as institutions collaborate on youth savings and financial education programs with schools, local and state governments, nonprofit organizations, or corporate entities. To learn more, see the letter to FDIC-supervised institutions at

FDIC Newsletter for Consumers Also a Resource for Financial Educators
The Winter 2015 edition of FDIC Consumer News features tips to help people make what could be two of their biggest financial decisions — financing their home and getting an auto loan — as well as an overview of new options for using smartphones to pay at shops and restaurants. The newsletter includes articles on how to avoid telemarketing scams, how to contact a bank’s regulator with concerns regarding unresolved disputes with the bank, as well as how to save money. And, the Fall 2014 issue features questions and suggestions for managing personal finances, money tips for safe traveling, common misconceptions about FDIC insurance coverage, information on how to verify that an institution is FDIC-insured, and advice on rights to financial privacy. Financial educators are encouraged to use FDIC Consumer News as a supplemental handout for students.

Financial Literacy Commission Discusses Education in Schools
The FDIC joined fellow members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission at a public meeting held February 25, 2015. The event highlighted several youth savings programs and included a discussion on strengthening efforts that combine financial education with access to a savings account. To learn more about the meeting and obtain information, such as meeting minutes and the presentations, start at,-2015.aspx.

Money Smart Success Stories: School and Bank Partnerships Create Lifetime Skills for Students
In this edition of Money Smart News, schools, students and bankers are featured in both of our Success Stories. Meet one of the participating banks in Phase I of the Youth Savings Pilot Program and learn about its achievements in teaching financial education at a school and hosting students at its branch, with the opportunity to open an account. In the second Success Story, meet a banker who combines Money Smart with his expertise from work to teach financial education to middle and high school students. Both stories highlight approaches to help students learn and build skills they can use through their lifetime. (Read the stories.)

Saving for Retirement Is Now More Convenient for More Workers
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has developed the “myRA” (my Retirement Account), a new type of Roth IRA that is a simple, safe, and affordable savings program for individuals and their employers. The accounts are backed by the U.S. Treasury and they carry no risk of losing money. The product is most likely to be of interest to individuals who do not have a retirement savings plan at their workplace. To learn more, go to or call toll-free 1-855-406-6972.