June 3 -- The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) invites comment by August 3 on a new information collection, the “Start Small, Save Up Workforce Questionnaire.”
This short questionnaire evaluates the respondent's current savings habits, behaviors, and attitudes. It evaluates the respondent's level of financial well-being, a subjective state wherein a person has a sense of financial security and financial freedom of choices, in the present and for the future.
The questionnaire asks about the respondent's recent experiences with unexpected financial shocks, the respondent's savings cushion available for emergencies, savings behavior, including automated savings methods, use of savings, drawdown and replenishment of savings, and the impact of savings and financial behavior on personal stress levels. The questionnaire includes the short form of the CFPB’s Financial Well-Being Scale.
The questionnaire (N=2,000) gives the Bureau an efficient way to measure the effectiveness of financial education and other efforts in increasing consumers' liquid savings and financial well-being. Information will be gathered from those in the Bureau workforce, which includes Federal employees as well as contractors and other job statuses. The questionnaire may also be made available for use by other Federal agencies.
The Bureau can use the information collected to connect savings and financial well-being, and to inform future development of employer-sponsored financial education materials and programs.
Financial education is a core component of the Bureau’s mission under the Dodd-Frank Act. The first of the Bureau’s five statutory objectives is to ensure that “consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions,” and the first of the Bureau’s statutory functions is “conducting financial education programs.” (12 U.S.C. 5511(b)(1), (c)(1)) The aim of the CFPB’s financial education efforts is to improve the financial well-being of people in America. One important characteristic of people with high financial well-being is having liquid savings sufficient to address unexpected financial shocks. The CFPB is undertaking work to encourage employers and other organizations to increase people’s liquid savings. Capturing a before and after picture of savings and related behaviors is an important part of this work. The information collection is a targeted and efficient way to understand changes in respondents’ savings and related behavior, as well as to examine connections to their financial well-being.
Federal Register notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/06/03/2020-11901/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request
Draft survey instrument: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CFPB-2020-0016-0003
Draft supporting statement: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CFPB-2020-0016-0002
CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/financial-well-being-scale/
Submit comments at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CFPB-2020-0016-0001
Point of contact: Darrin King, CFPB at (202) 435-9575 or CFPB_PRA@cfpb.gov