Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Grant is Part of a New National Initiative Supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation in Collaboration with the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources and National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation

DES MOINES, IOWA, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 – The Iowa Insurance Division has been awarded a $100,000 grant to enhance its financial wellness programs for state of Iowa employees and retirees.

Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, this one-year grant comes at a time when many of the nearly 19 million state and local government employees across the U.S. continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments are also confronting unprecedented budget shortfalls, and workers are increasingly concerned about family finances.

This grant is structured as a collaboration between the Center For State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), The International Public Management Association For Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation (NASTF) and Wells Fargo. A total of 24  state and local government jurisdictions were awarded grants.

In a recent national poll conducted by SLGE, 56 percent of state and local public employees reported that their family has been negatively impacted financially by the crisis, and more than half are worried about their family finances, losing their job, furloughs, and pay and benefit reductions. During the one-year initiative, the Iowa Insurance Division will enhance a microsite to include 400 financial literacy courses for state employees.  The microsite promotes the goal of retirement security through various financial literacy principles.

“Now is the time to renew financial wellness.  Through this program, we can help state employees be “financially fit” by meeting financial obligations, feeling more secure in their financial futures, and making choices that will allow the enjoyment of life now and in the future,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “These grant funds will benefit 18,000 current state employees and 7,000 retirees.   We are grateful to the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation and Wells Fargo for their support in this endeavor.”

“Based on previous SLGE research, we know that only 29 percent of state and local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, while 68 percent of public employees would participate in these programs if they were offered one. This grant program offers a real opportunity for state and localities like the Iowa Insurance Division to strengthen financial wellness programs for workers who deliver important public services,” said Joshua Franzel, SLGE president and chief executive officer.

“Far too many public sector employees lack access to the financial wellness programs they want and need,” said Shaun Snyder, NAST and the NAST Foundation executive director. “NAST is proud to continue its commitment to financial education through this collaboration with the Iowa Insurance Division, which will strengthen financial wellness opportunities for public employees.”

“IPMA-HR is honored to be part of this initiative, and we look forward to seeing results from the Iowa Insurance Division’s planned program. We know that state and local employees with financial security are more engaged and better positioned to serve the public, making this initiative all the more vital during these unprecedented times,” said Cara Woodson Welch, IPMA-HR executive director.

The Iowa Insurance Division is the state regulator which supervises all insurance business transacted in the state of Iowa. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen leads our team that oversees companies and individuals in the sale of insurance in Iowa and has general control over all aspects of their business.  The Iowa Insurance Division also has statutory authority over many activities related to the sale of securities and other regulated products in the state.

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) helps local and state governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. SLGE identifies leading practices and conducts research on public retirement plans, health and wellness benefits, workforce demographics and skill set needs, and labor force development. SLGE brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers. Access all SLGE publications and sign up for its newsletter at slge.org and follow @4GovtExcellence on Twitter.

The National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation promotes and improves the educational initiatives that enable members to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the citizens of the nation. NAST Foundation programs provide for the enhancement of public officials’ understanding of the public financial arena and delivers education to the public about personal financial management. Founded in 2000, the charitable organization is governed by five-member board made up of State Treasurers. For more information, please visit nast.org/foundation/

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) represents the interests of public sector human resource professionals at all levels of government. IPMA-HR provides comprehensive resources and solutions to assist public sector human resource professionals in ensuring that their organizations have the right talent to achieve their missions. The association provides a wide range of programs products and services that include research, professional development, certification, communications, public policy, and assessments. Additional information about IPMA-HR is available at www.ipma-hr.org.