SENATE RESOLUTION 161--DESIGNATING APRIL 2015 AS ``FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH''; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 SENATE RESOLUTION 161--DESIGNATING APRIL 2015 AS ``FINANCIAL LITERACY 
                                MONTH''

  Mr. REED of Rhode Island (for himself, Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Scott, Mr. 
Kirk, Mr. Carper, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Udall, Mr. Coons, Ms. Hirono, Mrs. 
Murray, Mr. Franken, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Moran, Ms. Heitkamp, Mr. Schatz, 
Mr. Durbin, Mr. Cardin, and Mr. Cochran) submitted the following 
resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 161

       Whereas according to the Federal Deposit Insurance 
     Corporation (referred to in this preamble as the ``FDIC''), 
     at least 27.7 percent of households in the United States, or 
     nearly 34,400,000 households with approximately 67,600,000 
     adults, are unbanked or underbanked and therefore have not 
     had the opportunity to access savings, lending, and other 
     basic financial services;
       Whereas according to the FDIC, approximately 30 percent of 
     banks reported in 2011 that consumers lacked understanding of 
     the financial products and services banks offered;
       Whereas according to the 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy 
     Survey Final Report of the National Foundation for Credit 
     Counseling--
       (1) approximately 41 percent of adults in the United States 
     gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of 
     personal finance, and 73 percent of adults acknowledged that 
     they could benefit from additional advice and answers to 
     everyday financial questions from a professional;
       (2) 24 percent of adults in the United States, or 
     approximately 56,300,000 individuals, admitted to not paying 
     their bills on time;
       (3) only 39 percent of adults in the United States reported 
     keeping close track of their spending, a percentage that has 
     held steady since 2007; and
       (4) 16 percent of adults in the United States, or over 
     37,500,000 individuals, said not having enough ``rainy day'' 
     savings for an emergency is their greatest financial concern, 
     while the same percentage said that their greatest financial 
     concern is not having enough money set aside for retirement;

       Whereas the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by 
     the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that only 18 
     percent of workers were ``very confident'' about having 
     enough money for a comfortable retirement, which is a sharp 
     decline in worker confidence from the 27 percent of workers 
     who were ``very confident'' in 2007, while approximately 56 
     percent of workers say they or their spouses have not 
     calculated the amount of money they need to save for 
     retirement;
       Whereas according to a 2015 ``Flow of Funds'' report by the 
     Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, outstanding 
     household debt in the United States was $13,500,000,000,000 
     at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014;
       Whereas according to the 2014 Survey of the States: 
     Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation's 
     Schools, a biennial report by the Council for Economic 
     Education--
       (1) only 24 States require students to take an economics 
     course as a high school graduation requirement; and
       (2) only 17 States require students to take a personal 
     finance course either independently or as part of an 
     economics course as a high school graduation requirement;
       Whereas according to the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial 
     Literacy Index, only 58 percent of students in the United 
     States have money in a bank or credit union account;
       Whereas expanding access to the safe, mainstream financial 
     system will provide individuals with less expensive and more 
     secure options for managing finances and building wealth;
       Whereas quality personal financial education is essential 
     to ensure that individuals are prepared to manage money, 
     credit, and debt, and to become responsible workers, heads of 
     household, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and 
     citizens;
       Whereas increased financial literacy empowers individuals 
     to make wise financial decisions and reduces the confusion 
     caused by an increasingly complex economy;
       Whereas a greater understanding of, and familiarity with, 
     financial markets and institutions will lead to increased 
     economic activity and growth;
       Whereas in 2003, Congress determined that coordinating 
     Federal financial literacy efforts and formulating a national 
     strategy is important; and
       Whereas in light of that determination, Congress passed the 
     Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act (20 U.S.C. 
     9701 et seq.), establishing the Financial Literacy and 
     Education Commission: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates April 2015 as ``Financial Literacy Month'' 
     to raise public awareness about--
       (A) the importance of personal financial education in the 
     United States; and
       (B) the serious consequences that may result from a lack of 
     understanding about personal finances; and
       (2) calls on the Federal Government, States, localities, 
     schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and the people 
     of the United States to observe Financial Literacy Month with 
     appropriate programs and activities.

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