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Money Smart News - Summer 2006

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FDIC and Money Smart Join the Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks in Promoting Direct Deposit

The FDIC is adding new information to the agency's Money Smart financial education program for a government campaign intended to encourage people who receive federal benefit checks, such as Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, to switch to direct deposit.

The FDIC in April announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks' Go Direct campaign to tell the public – especially baby boomers who will start retiring in 2008 – that direct deposit is safer, faster and easier than mailing checks. As part of the FDIC's partnership with the campaign, information about Go Direct and how to sign up for direct deposit will be added to the agency's Money Smart curriculum and materials provided to participants at workshops.

Go Direct is a priority for Treasury, in particular, because the use of direct deposit by federal benefit recipients, who are mostly senior citizens and people with disabilities, has been slipping in recent years. The Treasury said it issues more than 150 million benefit checks annually, and that if all recipients converted to direct deposit, the savings to taxpayers in terms of postage, printing and other costs would be about $120 million a year, most of which would remain in the Social Security Trust Fund.

"Go Direct is a natural addition to our Money Smart curriculum," said Lee Bowman, National Coordinator, Community Affairs, FDIC's Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection. "Switching to direct deposit is a simple step people can take on their journey toward financial independence and security."

Judith R. Tillman, Deputy Commissioner of Treasury's Financial Management Service, agreed. "Our partnership with the FDIC will help Americans who receive federal benefit checks better understand why direct deposit is the best payment option for Social Security and other federal benefits," said Tillman. "With the FDIC's enormous reach and the support of other community partners, these financial literacy workshops will play a key role in motivating people to take more control of their finances – beginning with signing up for direct deposit."

For more information about the Go Direct campaign and how and why to sign up for direct deposit, go to (English) or (Spanish).

Last Updated 07/18/2006

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