BlackRock Inc.'s industry initiative to help low- and moderate-income Americans set aside emergency savings is picking up momentum as it expands its circle of corporate partners.
The money manager enlisted five new companies to join its Emergency Savings Initiative, a $50 million philanthropic commitment made in 2019 to help struggling Americans build a financial safety net.
The newcomers to the initiative are payroll services company ADP LLC, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc., financial technology company Self Financial Inc., regional bank Truist Financial Corp., and digital bank Varo Bank NA.
The lack of emergency savings impedes long-term financial health and led many people to tap their retirement savings during the pandemic, BlackRock said in the news release announcing the new corporate partners. BlackRock cited a survey from Commonwealth and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association showing that retirement plan participants without liquid emergency savings were twice as likely to have taken a withdrawal or loan from their retirement accounts than those with savings.
The five new companies have committed to working with BlackRock's ESI non-profit experts on a variety of projects to make it easier for people of modest means to establish emergency savings. Truist, for example, is planning to launch new emergency savings services for its customers, while Best Buy is looking to identify ways to enhance its current employee savings program, BlackRock said in the news release.
The five are working closely with BlackRock and non-profit industry experts Common Cents Labs, a financial behavior research lab within the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University; Commonwealth, a national non-profit focused on building financial security for financially vulnerable people; and the Financial Health Network, a non-profit organization that provides research, consulting, and measurement tools around consumer financial health.
The five join a slew of other companies participating in the initiative, including Voya Financial Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., and MasterCard Inc.