Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Saving program a plus for people in Ringwood

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched the new Ringwood Saver Plus site which will support low income earners save for their own education and the education of their children.

Saver Plus is a matched savings and financial education program which helps people gain the skills to better manage their finances and establish long-term savings habits.

It is delivered across the country by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, along with a range of partner organisations including The Smith Family, Berry Street and The Benevolent Society.

Speaking at the launch in Eaglemont today, Ms Macklin said the Brotherhood of St Laurence will receive $19.5 million to deliver Saver Plus over the next three years.

“For many vulnerable people the challenges of setting saving goals or planning for their future can be overwhelming,” Ms Macklin said.

“Saver Plus provides support for people on low incomes and can lead to opportunities for further education, employment and longer term financial stability.

“For every dollar saved, the ANZ will match it, up to $500. So that means that every dollar saved becomes two dollars in the bank.

“These savings must be spent on the participant’s own vocational training or the education of their children.”

Participants must also attend 10 hours of financial education based on ANZ’s MoneyMinded package to successfully complete the program.

“Saver Plus is a great example of what can be achieved when government, business and community work effectively together to help people who are financially vulnerable,” Ms Macklin said.

Berry Street will receive about $85,000 each year to deliver the new service in Ringwood, which is one of 61 communities across Australia to benefit from the Australian Government’s $39.5 million roll out of Saver Plus.

An evaluation of Saver Plus by RMIT found that 87 per cent of past participants still saved at the same rate up to three years after completing the program.

About 14,000 people are expected to participate in the scheme across Australia by 2014, with more than 3,000 people already taking part in the last nine months.

Saver Plus is funded under the Australian Government’s Financial Management Program.