Taking a holistic look at savings: Crisis as a catalyst for change

Nov 24, 2020

Rather than getting easier, saving – for many people – is getting harder. Even in the midst of a global health crisis, financial issues continue to be a primary source of stress. At BlackRock, we’ve been focused on this challenge for many years, helping people save and invest for retirement.

The crisis put a spotlight on just how many hardworking Americans are struggling to stay afloat. We have seen slow-building trends, like increased longevity and a shift away from employer-provided defined benefit retirement plans, making it more difficult than ever for people to retire with dignity. But there is another simpler reason why the median worker in America has zero retirement savings, and we want to talk about it: people can’t save for tomorrow when they are worried about today.

What’s more – no single company, asset manager or policymaker can address this compounded crisis alone. The entire ecosystem will need to rally together to help people take a more holistic approach to savings.

That’s why we joined forces, combining the expertise of BlackRock’s Retirement Group and its philanthropic Emergency Savings Initiative to address how we might build a more secure and inclusive savings system in the U.S.. United by the firm’s purpose of helping more and more people experience financial well-being, we co-hosted BlackRock’s inaugural Savings Summit earlier this month to ask big questions and discuss even bigger solutions.

In the spirit of collaboration, the Summit offered participants a forum to share what’s working – and how we can build on that momentum. From ideas around how to expand access to high-quality emergency savings accounts to ways of enhancing retirement income security, we heard from leading thinkers and decision makers on financial health, tech, policy and behavioral psychology about what the next generation of savings solutions could look like.

While this was a virtual event, the energy and enthusiasm for the future was palpable – even through the screen. And we believe there is good reason for optimism.

We know that the work and innovation needed to solve the savings crisis is only beginning. As more clients and employers demonstrate interest in their employees’ financial health and, more importantly, a willingness to be nimble and innovative in piloting new solutions, our continued partnership will only reinforce the case for tackling the savings crisis holistically – from short-term stability to long-term security for more and more people.

To watch session replays and access our special Insights Report, we encourage you to explore our Savings Summit hub page here.

Anne Ackerley
Managing Director and Head of BlackRock’s Retirement Group
Deborah Winshel
Managing Director and the Global Head of Social Impact at BlackRock