ANZ and the Brotherhood of St Laurence today released new research which shows 87 per cent of Saver Plus participants continue to save at the same rate or more, two years after completing the program.
Saver Plus, Australia’s first and largest matched savings and financial education program, assists lower income Australians to build a lasting savings habit by strengthening their financial skills, knowledge and confidence.
Launched in Melbourne by the Honourable Julie Collins MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, the 2011 Saver Plus summary report highlights research findings from RMIT University and the Brotherhood of St Laurence: ‘Evaluation of Saver Plus Past Participants’ and ‘Many Faces of Saving: The Social Dimensions of Saver Plus’.
Ms Collins also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s budget commitment of $26.5 million to Saver Plus for a further four years, as detailed in the May Federal Budget.
Now in its eighth year, Saver Plus has supported nearly 12,000 people to save over $6 million. Saver Plus aims to reach around 20,000 more Australians across the next four years, with a $13 million commitment from ANZ.
Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director, Tony Nicholson, said Saver Plus plays an important role in building the financial capabilities of people on lower incomes, which in turn helps break the cycle of disadvantage that can affect low-income communities.
“Saver Plus is now operating in 60 sites in all States and Territories and, with the continued support of ANZ and Government, we can assist in reducing the risk of financial exclusion for thousands of people in those communities,” Mr Nicholson said.
ANZ General Manager Australia Operations, John Harries, said Saver Plus is a successful model for Government, business and the community sector to assist people on lower incomes to build their financial capability and confidence.
“The reports reveal the positive impact ANZ’s investment in Saver Plus is having in helping to build financial inclusion. ANZ will continue to work with the Australian Government and our community partners to deliver the program,” Mr Harries said.
Saver Plus was developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ in 2002. The program will continue to reach thousands of lower-income people across Australia. ANZ and the Federal Government fund the program, with ANZ also providing the matched savings for participants.
A copy of both reports can be found at www.bsl.org.au/saver-plus and www.anz.com/saverplus.