group of people seen from above forming a dollar sign (Photo: Shutterstock)

America is in a savings crisis, with 36% of households being unable to handle a $400 emergency from savings. A Commonwealth analysis of the Federal Reserve Report on the Economic Well Being of Households indicates that the problem is worse for lower-income households making under $60,000, where 58% of people do not have $400 in savings. Within that income bracket, Black (71%), Latinx (69%) and female (61%) employees who are unable to manage that sized emergency indicate that a lack of emergency savings is in fact an issue of equity.

Payroll cards – reloadable debit cards that can be used to withdraw money or make purchases, and eliminate the need for a traditional bank account to get paid – are often the solution of choice for those employees who do not have a traditional bank or credit union account. Payroll card users tend to be younger, lower-income and more likely to be from communities of color, relative to the population of working Americans. In a recent survey by Commonwealth and ADP, low- and moderate-income (LMI) workers said they want and need high-quality emergency savings solutions. And yet, employers surveyed were not aware of the emergency savings features of payroll cards, and did not view them as an employee benefit.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?


Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.