Edward Jones' Grassroots Legislative Task Force Meets in Washington, D.C. for 39th Year

News release | March 5, 2024

Task Force Advocates for Savings Opportunities, Secure Future and Dignified Retirement for More Americans 

ST. LOUIS, March 5, 2024 – To advocate for issues important to individual investors,Edward Jones' Grassroots Legislative Task Force is set to meet with U.S. legislators for its 39th year from March 5-7 in Washington, D.C. The Task Force is made up of more than 100 Edward Jones financial advisors and client support team professionals (CSTPs) from all 50 states. It remains the securities industry's only volunteer advocacy organization that travels to Washington, D.C., each year to meet with federal lawmakers.

"As a Fortune 500* company and the largest privately held financial services firm in the industry, we take our responsibility to help improve the financial well-being of our clients, colleagues, communities and society very seriously," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington, who will join the Task Force in Washington D.C. "While our more than 19,000 financial advisors personally serve the financial needs of our 8 million clients, the Grassroots Legislative Task Force advocates at the highest level of government on behalf of savers and investors all across America. Our vision for the future is about growing our impact and creating new value for those we serve."

This year, the Task Force Chairs will focus their conversations primarily on savings opportunities to help the millions of Americans who provide caregiving services to family and friends. Between 2015 and 2020, the number of caregivers grew nearly 22% to 53 million, according to the 2020 AARP Caregiving in the US report. That number is anticipated to continue growing as the country ages and more Americans become "sandwiched," providing care to older and younger family members.

Prominent among America's caregivers are the 11.5 million family members and friends providing for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Recognizing the devastating financial impact this disease can have on families, Edward Jones has served as a national presenting sponsor for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s since 2016, which takes place in more than 600 communities each year. Since then, more than 100,000 participants have walked under the Edward Jones banner. The firm and its associates have raised more than $39 million for the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease.

"It was strong bipartisan leadership that led the passage of SECURE 2.0 to extend and expand retirement savings opportunities for millions of Americans," said Lamell McMorris, Edward Jones Principal and Head of Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations. "Now we have an opportunity to build on that success and address with legislators how to help caregivers prepare for a secure and dignified retirement. The Employee Benefit Research Institute in its 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey found that caregivers are less likely to have saved for retirement and more likely to have retired earlier for reasons beyond their control."

In meetings with members of Congress this year, Grassroots Legislative Task Force Chairs also will reinforce the firm's strong support of two bipartisan bills – one to increase participation in retirement plans and the other to facilitate savings at younger ages. Edward Jones believes these bills will establish a culture of savings that will help ensure future generations enjoy a secure and dignified retirement.

Edward Jones is also committed to partnering for lasting financial strength and building economic inclusion for one million Americans by the end of 2025. One way the Grassroots Task Force chairs will do this is by advocating for the Department of Defense Student Financial Literacy Act. This piece of legislation will promote financial education by requiring each student of a high school operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity to complete a dedicated course on financial literacy as a requirement for graduation.

In addition to the more than 100 volunteer Grassroots Legislative Task Force members, Edward Jones has a team dedicated to advocating for clients and investors. Because of its growing impact in this space, the firm is sharing during this year's trip that it has purchased and will renovate a townhome near Capitol Hill to serve as a policy headquarters for its associates and stakeholders.

“We find great value in meeting with our nation's legislators about opportunities to help more Americans establish, grow, pass on and give away their wealth," said McMorris. "It's in our culture and now a 39-year tradition that the Grassroots Legislative Task Force carry the voice of investors to policymakers through one-on-one conversations. This work helps us fulfill our purpose to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society."

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's more than 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8 million clients with a total of $1.9 trillion in client assets under care as of December 2023. Edward Jones' purpose is to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Through the dedication of the firm's approximately 52,000 associates and our branch presence in 68% of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

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