Our approach and performance
Making saving a lifetime habit
Saver Plus is a program that helps people on lower incomes to develop long-term saving habits and reach a savings goal. It is delivered by a number of community organisations in partnership with ANZ. Participants in the program set a savings goal and receive financial education and support in reaching their goal. Once they reach their savings goal, ANZ matches their savings dollar-for-dollar up to $500.
The program aligns with ANZ's Corporate Responsibility framework priority to build financial capability.
The Saver Plus Story
Saver Plus was developed jointly by ANZ and the Brotherhood of St Laurence in follow up to our research which demonstrated a correlation between levels of saving and financial literacy.
Since its inception in 2003, the program has been extended through partnerships with Berry Street, The Smith Family, The Benevolent Society, the Victorian Government and the Australian Government. More than 10,000 people have participated in the program which has received numerous awards. Australian Government funding has allowed us to increase the reach of the program, working with our community partners to deliver Saver Plus in every Australian state and territory.
This demonstrates the value of bringing together the collective resources and expertise of business, government and the community sector to address important economic and social issues.
How it works
People wishing to apply to join Saver Plus can call 1300 610 355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. On being accepted into the program, participants set a savings goal with help from a Saver Plus worker. They also open an ANZ Progress Saver account at a local ANZ branch.
During the program, participants attend 10 hours of financial education workshops that build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence. They make regular deposits into their ANZ account over a 10-month period, and keep in contact with their Saver Plus worker.
Once participants reach their savings goal, ANZ matches their savings dollar-for-dollar, up to $500. Participants can put this money towards their children's (or their own) education costs such as computers, uniforms, books and sports equipment.
ANZ is working with community partners and the Australian Government to offer Saver Plus in more than 60 communities in every state and territory.
People apply to participate in Saver Plus by contacting the local community organisation (PDF 68kB) delivering Saver Plus in their region.
The benefits of Saver Plus
Qualitative research reveals the positive outcomes of Saver Plus for participants. Many participants report the program improved their confidence, pride, self-esteem and trust. Research has also revealed that Saver Plus contributes to building new financial skills through program workshops and, for some participants, leads to longer-term positive behaviour change in the form of ongoing savings habits.
The 2011 study conducted by RMIT University, Evaluation of Saver Plus Past Participants, found that Saver Plus "continues to achieve it's aims in assisting low-income individuals to develop a savings habit and improve levels of financial literacy", with:
- 87% of participants continuing to save the same amount or more up to three years after completing the program
- 81% of participants being better able to cope with unexpected expenses
- 84% of participant improving their ability to plan ahead and stay on top of things financially.
The positive outcomes for the broader community can also be recognised, as in many cases (84%), participants reported that through Saver Plus they were able to encourage other family members to save. Overall, Saver Plus is a successful program in building financial capability for those experiencing difficulty accessing other important asset-building solutions.
ANZ staff and Saver Plus
Our staff play an important role in the success of Saver Plus by opening and maintaining the ANZ Progress Saver accounts and assisting with the financial education workshops. Feedback from participants regarding ANZ staff involvement is positive, and staff value the contribution they can make to the program.
One of ANZ's Branch Managers, Nick McLeod, considers the key benefit of Saver Plus to be its role in helping our customers to build long-term financial independence.
"Through its focus on educating people in money management and building confidence in everyday financial matters, Saver Plus offers some of our lower income customers real financial independence."
Nick's branch in Tasmania is located in one of the original pilot areas for the program and two years on, Nick says the team makes Saver Plus "part of our everyday conversations with our customers."
ANZ, our community partners and the Australian Government deliver Saver Plus in more than 60 communities . The program is available in every Australian State and Territory.
Our community partners, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Berry Street, The Smith Family and The Benevolent Society, continue to deliver the program along with Anglicare SA, Anglicare WA, Anglicare NT, Ballarat Group Training (BGT), Bethany, Jewish Care Victoria and Haven.
Gender of participants
Status of participants
We are working with our community partners and the Australian Government to enrol at least 4,750 people in our Saver Plus program in Australia to achieve our 2014 target of 14,250.
In 2011, the Australian Government provided funding to continue the delivery of Saver Plus in more than 60 communities for a further four years. ANZ continues to invest in the program and provides the matched savings for participants. The program is available in every Australian state and territory.
Our partners, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Berry Street, The Smith Family and The Benevolent Society, continue to deliver the program along with Anglicare SA, Anglicare WA, Anglicare NT, BGT, Bethany Community Support, Jewish Care Victoria and Haven.
We are working with our community partners and the Australian Government to enrol a further 14,750 people in our Saver Plus program for the 3-year period to June 2015. This is an increase on the 2009 to 2011 participation goal.
In 2010, assisted by the Australian Government funding received in the previous year, the Saver Plus program expanded from 20 to 60 communities. For the first time, the program became available in every Australian state and territory.
As a result of this expansion, new community organisations are delivering the program along with our existing partners, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Berry Street, The Smith Family and The Benevolent Society.
We are working with our community partners and the Australian Government to enrol a further 7,600 people in our Saver Plus program for the two-year period to June 2011.
The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd announced in October $13.5 million in funding for the Saver Plus program as part of the Federal Government's $50 million initiative to build better financial capability and resilience in the community. The Australian Government support will help ANZ, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and other partners to more than double the reach of the Saver Plus matched savings and financial literacy program to an additional 7,600 people on low incomes by 2011.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence and other Saver Plus partners the Benevolent Society, The Smith Family and Berry Street, will work with ANZ to expand the reach of Saver Plus.
Our community partners enrolled 1,192 participants in the Saver Plus matched savings and financial literacy program this year, compared to our target of 1,500 participants. Recruitment proved more difficult than in previous periods with some partners advising that general financial insecurity for low-income people had impacted overall recruitment rates.
In November 2009 Dr Roslyn Russell of RMIT University produced a new evaluation report on the Saver Plus program, for the period 1 April 2006 to 30 June 2009. The evaluation confirmed the success of Saver Plus in assisting participants in achieving a savings goal. Key findings include:
In November 2009 Chant Link & Associates conducted a study of Saver Plus, providing new insights into why savings programs like Saver Plus can develop long-term savings behaviour and overcome factors which can lead to irrational financial decision-making.
Key findings of the research included:
We will work with our community partners and the Australian Government to reach a further 7,600 people with our Saver Plus program over two years. Recommendations from the recent study into the success of Saver Plus will inform this expansion.
2008 marked the five year anniversary of Saver Plus. It was a good time to measure the long-term achievements of the program, so ANZ commissioned a study by Dr Roslyn Russell of RMIT University, comparing Saver Plus to other matched savings programs around the world.
The study found that Saver Plus "clearly demonstrates best practice" in a number of areas. The program has been a positive experience for participants: it enhances confidence and self-esteem, changes attitudes to money, and gives participants life skills they can pass on to their children.
But there are also more measurable results: 96% of Saver Plus participants meet or exceed their savings goal, and 70% are still saving the same amount or more 2 to 3 years later, demonstrating that the savings habit is continuing.
Saver Plus was expanded in 2008 to 20 locations, including Tasmania for the first time, with the assistance of the Tasmanian Community Fund. 1,585 people joined the program in this year, meeting our goal of 1500 participants.
In the past five years, ANZ has invested more than $7.6 million in the development, expansion and matching of savings for Saver Plus. More than 3,800 people, saving a total of almost $3.5 million, have participated in Saver Plus since it began.
The success of the Saver Plus program means we are committed to expanding it further in conjunction with our partners and other agencies who share our objective of improving the financial and social inclusion of disadvantaged communities.
|Case study: Assessing the impact of Saver Plus|
Claire, a young mum with two teenage sons at high school, is one of the many thousands of people who have benefited from our financial capability program, Saver Plus.
While Saver Plus has helped Claire save to support her children's school expenses, her involvement in the program has also played a role in her journey to become a home owner.
Claire first heard about Saver Plus through word of mouth in her local community. As a single parent, she believed that her only option for a home loan was through local finance institutions until she went to open her Saver Plus account. In the branch, she struck up a conversation with one of our staff members who explained that her dream of purchasing a family home could become a reality.
Several visits to her local branch, and two MoneyMinded sessions (as part of the Saver Plus program) later, Claire became a first-time home owner and is proud of her savings achievement to support her family. Her story shows how Saver Plus can help people to build financial skills and knowledge and support them to achieve their long-term goals.
For more research and report information on Saver Plus visit:
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