Edward Jones' Grassroots Legislative Task Force Meets with Legislators in Washington, D.C.
News Release | July 25, 2022
For the 37th time, financial services firm Edward Jones’ Grassroots Legislative Task Force is set to meet with US legislators on July 26-28 in Washington, D.C., to discuss and advocate for issues on the minds of individual investors and business owners. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Activating our Purpose,” where Edward Jones’ financial advisors and branch office administrators will advocate for bipartisan retirement savings legislation to help more Americans save for a secure and dignified retirement and promote greater financial education and wellness.
"Now in our centennial year, we serve 8 million clients in 3,000 communities in a human-centered way and our nearly 19,000 financial advisors have a unique perspective on how the needs of individual investors are changing in unprecedented ways – what they need, what they value, and what it will take to help them achieve financial health and well-being," said Lamell McMorris, Edward Jones Principal, Head of Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations. "Our opportunity is to reach 40 million families in North America and our commitment is to grow the impact we're able to make. It's deeply connected to our purpose which is to partner for positive impact, to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society."
The Grassroots Legislative Task Force, a group of financial advisors and branch office administrators from all 50 states, remains the securities industry's only volunteer advocacy organization that travels to Washington, D.C., each year to speak out on issues of importance to the individual investor. The group is dedicated to being the voice of individual investors to federal and state lawmakers.
Members of the Grassroots Legislative Task Force will hear from a variety of speakers including Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO of Age Wave, and Lauren Bernstein, EVERFI Executive Vice President and Head of Account Management, two of the firm's strategic alliances on the topics of longevity and the new retirement and the importance of financial education and empowerment programs, respectively.
“As we look to our next 100 years, we’re transforming to achieve our purpose, grow our impact and help enable every client, colleague and community we serve to achieve what’s most important to them,” said McMorris. “We are hyper-local and are in more communities than anyone in our industry with branch offices in 97% of Congressional districts. This uniquely positions us to advocate for the issues that are most important to individual investors and businesses and share how policies can have 'real world' impacts in terms of improving people's lives."
According to new research Edward Jones conducted with Age Wave and Harris Poll, Americans are changing the definition of retirement, and 69% say they want to live to age 100. Over the past few years, the Grassroots Legislative Task Force has focused on building momentum for bills that will strengthen millions of Americans’ retirements, and this year, there is an added layer of focus on enhancing financial education and confidence.
During the meeting, McMorris will outline the group’s current legislative priorities, including:
- Establishing a new catch-up contribution to help workers 60 and older who have not been able to save sufficiently for retirement.
- Increasing the required minimum distribution age from 72 to 75 to help more workers who are working and living longer to save longer.
- Enhancing the small business start-up tax credit, which will enable many small businesses across the country to provide retirement benefits to their employees.
- Permitting employers to make matching contributions with respect to student loan repayments that will help workers burdened with large student loan debt to start saving for retirement.
- Launching The Military Spouses Retirement Security Act, which helps address the unique challenges military spouses face in saving for retirement by providing a tax credit of up to $500 to small businesses to make military spouses eligible more quickly for retirement benefits.
“We know that advised individuals have more confidence and have a minimum of 25% more assets than non-advised individuals.* Therefore, we want to talk about the value our financial advisors and our industry provide to clients,” McMorris added. “When we can provide financial knowledge to young people, we know they make smarter financial decisions and are more prepared to enter adulthood feeling more confident about their financial future."
In addition to this year’s meeting, members of the Edward Jones Grassroots Legislative Task Force have been meeting with federal elected officials and staff to discuss the benefits of financial education to build a stable financial future for more Americans and youth.
In 2020, Edward Jones launched its Financial Fitness education curriculum in conjunction with EVERFI, which helps high school and college students understand how money works, create smart financial habits and ultimately, build financial resilience to increase financial security and freedom in the future.
"There are ways we can build new pathways to economic equality and opportunity, beginning with access to advice and services to strengthen individuals’ financial futures. McMorris said. "We can start by investing in our youth. Youth education and development are key to reversing any trends that have negatively impacted communities for generations and still do today."
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. 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 50,000 associates and our branch presence in 68 percent 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 Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
*(Source: Oliver Wyman/Marsh & McLennan: “The Role of Financial Advisors in the U.S. Retirement Market”)