Primerica, Inc., the Duluth-Ga.-based financial services marketing company, recently sponsored a major policy forum entitled “Are the Joneses Keeping Up? Middle-Income America’s Search for Financial Security” that included a panel discussion on policy prescriptions designed to lead to greater economic security for middle-income families.
The National Journal event, held at The Newseum Knight Broadcast studio in Washington, DC, included U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) as well as a panel of distinguished experts such as Janice Eberly, Ph.D., the US Department of Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy; Jeanne Hogarth with The Federal Reserve Board; financial author Beth Kobliner; Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at George Washington University and Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of The Urban Institute.
John Addison, Chairman of Primerica Distribution and Co-Chief Executive Officer, gave the opening and closing remarks.
“We are excited to sponsor and actively participate in this National Journal policy summit. The topic of helping middle-income families toward greater financial security is a natural fit for Primerica because, since our inception in 1977, we have had a singular focus on helping Main Street families become properly protected, debt free and financially independent,” said Addison. “I’ve been with the company for more than 30 years and strongly believe that no other financial services company is as familiar with the financial needs, worries and yes, the dreams and ambitions of average families. Since emerging as an independent company from our IPO two years ago, it is important that we ensure our voice is heard on key issues that are important and relevant to our business, our representatives and our clients.”
The panelists addressed and proposed solutions to some of the problems facing average families that have been exacerbated by the three-year long “Great Recession” such as:
- Americans are having difficulty making monthly payments, with 42% of mortgages, 36% of car loans and 32% of credit card minimums not being paid in full each month.
- The average 2011 college graduate owes over $25,000 in student loans, a 5% increase over the class of 2010.
- According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 56% of workers reported that their investments and savings totaled less than $20,000, and 29% reported having less than $1,000.
- A 2010 study revealed that 47% of Americans between the ages of 56 and 62 do not have enough money saved to last them through their retirement years.
- According to Gallup, 59% of workers were confident in 2002 that they would save enough to retire, but by 2009 only 41% expressed the same confidence.
- A 2011 Washington Post poll showed that 46% of African Americans and 32% of Hispanics had an IRA or similar investment, compared to 66% of Caucasians.
- Ownership of individual life insurance has hit a 50-year low, with 44% of households owning no coverage, including 11 million households with children under the age of 18.
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss said, “Negative trends in our economy have had a profound impact on millions of average Americans: high unemployment, the devastation caused by the housing crisis, families buried in debt, low savings and a decline in consumer confidence are among the symptoms. Primerica is a great company which I know very well as its home office is located in my state of Georgia. I commend Primerica Co-CEOs John Addison and Rick Williams, as well as the tens of thousands of Primerica representatives across the US who have always focused on helping the underserved middle-income market achieve greater financial security.”
Primerica is the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America, with approximately 90,000 licensed representatives offering financial products to middle-income families. The company insures more than 4.3 million lives and approximately 2 million clients maintain investment accounts with us. Primerica is a member of the Russell 2000 stock index and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI.”