Edward Jones' Grassroots Legislative Task Force Meets in Washington, D.C. for 38th Year
News release | May 23, 2023
Task Force Advocates for Secure Financial Future and Dignified Retirement for More Americans
ST. LOUIS, May 23, 2023 – Edward Jones' Grassroots Legislative Task Force is set to meet with U.S. legislators for its 38th year May 23-25 in Washington, D.C. The group will advocate for issues important to individual investors and business owners. The Task Force is made up of more than 100 Edward Jones' financial advisors and branch office administrators 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. This year’s theme is “Growing our Impact.”
"As we at Edward Jones embark on our second century in business, serving more than 8 million clients in thousands of communities throughout North America, our nearly 19,000 financial advisors have gained a unique perspective on changing needs, attitudes and values of individual investors and what it will take to help them achieve financial wellbeing," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. "We believe there are as many as 40 million households who could benefit from the value we provide. Our commitment is to grow the impact we’re able to make — an impact that is deeply connected to our purpose to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society." Pennington will join the Task Force in Washington, D.C. this year.
Grassroots Task Force Chairs will speak with lawmakers about the benefits of financial education, especially in public high schools throughout the country. Currently, 33 states require or recommend a financial literacy course be taught in public high schools. The Task Force Chairs are advocating for expansion of financial education to all 50 states to give more young people a foundation for financial success. Edward Jones' Financial Fitness program meets state requirements and since 2020, the firm has reached more than 500,000 learners, halfway toward its goal of 1 million learners by the end of 2025.
"Our Financial Fitness program is one of the many ways we can continue to build new pathways to economic equality and opportunity for more Americans, particularly among our youth,” said Lamell McMorris, Edward Jones Principal, Head of Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations. "The program includes teacher education and online learning for students on a range of topics, including budgeting, emergency savings and credit scores.”
The Task Force Chairs will hear from national speakers including Ray Martinez, EverFi's co-founder and president and Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of Age Wave. According to new research from Edward Jones and Age Wave, 69% of men and 81% of women have experienced in retirement at least one unexpected life event we call curveballs (relatively minor ones) and cannonballs (relative major ones), including death of a family member or friend, health issues and significant financial setbacks. This new research will highlight steps retirees and pre-retirees can take to improve their quality of life, sense of well-being or financial security. Chairs will take the results from the research to Capitol Hill to help lawmakers get real-time insights into what is most important to individual investors across five generations.
Finally, Task Force Chairs will celebrate and recognize the work behind the passage of the Secure 2.0 Act, which is already having an extremely positive impact on the retirement security of many Americans. This bill is an important and potentially life-changing financial course correction for many. Despite its extensive reach, only one-quarter (24%) of Americans say they are aware, but those who say they are familiar with the bill, overwhelmingly approve (74%).
“We are looking forward to this year's visit and the impact it can have on the lives of all Americans, from those just getting started with saving and investing, to those already in retirement," said McMorris. “For the past 38 years, we have enjoyed working in a bipartisan way through the Grassroots Legislative Task Force to help individuals and families build financial resilience and in turn, strengthen the communities we serve."
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8 million clients with a total of $1.7 trillion in client assets under care at the end of March 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.
Stephanie Zoller Mueller