Boston College Launches New Center for Financial Literacy

Today, Boston College announced the creation of the Center for Financial Literacy (CFL), with first-year funding of $3.0 million from the U.S. Social Security Administration. The CFL’s mission is to produce educational materials and programs that help people make reasonable financial decisions throughout their working lives and into retirement. The CFL will be led by Center Director Alicia H. Munnell, Program Director Steven Sass, and Creative Director Ronn Campisi.

The Boston College team has extensive experience producing financial literacy materials using print, film, and interactive media. They will be joined by active partners from the National Bureau of Economic Research, The Brookings Institution, The College of William and Mary, Innovations for Poverty Action, Financial Engines, Knowledge Networks, and the National Endowment for Financial Education.

The Social Security grant calls for the CFL and its partners, in the first year of a five-year period, to:

  • produce print and Web-based interactive guides to financial issues facing retirees;
  • develop a Web-based interactive program to help older workers choose a target retirement age;
  • field commitment programs to help low- and moderate-income households control their finances;
  • design a plan for a comprehensive “go-to” financial website;
  • review the effectiveness of existing financial literacy programs;
  • create a financial literacy “food pyramid”; and
  • evaluate how target date funds are used by 401(k) participants.

“Given the turbulent economic climate and the shift of financial risk to individuals, people need help,” said Alicia Munnell. “The new Center will provide essential tools to improve decision-making.” In addition to directing the CFL, Munnell will continue to head the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which focuses on conducting and broadly disseminating research on retirement income issues.