Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Kroger    KR

KROGER (KR)
My previous session
Most popular
  Report  
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsOfficial PublicationsSector newsAnalyst Recommendations

Money woes? More companies help workers build emergency funds

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
01/11/2019 | 12:09pm EST
FILE PHOTO: An employee checks U.S. dollar bank-notes at a bank in Hanoi, Vietnam

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At the Springdale Ice Cream and Beverage factory in Cincinnati, workers were coming to the human resources department with money troubles, wanting cash advances on their pay.

Some could not afford car repairs, which meant they could not get to work. Others needed money for medical bills, home repairs and other emergencies.

Human resources manager Erica Simmons wanted to help. She enrolled the company, a division of Kroger Co, in a pilot programme called Split to Save. The Consumer Federation of America started the Split to Save initiative about a year ago, and other employers on board include banks, credit unions and the City of Boston. The goal is to help workers build their own emergency savings accounts through regular payroll deductions.

"It’s important that our associates are doing well and that means their physical and mental health and their financial health," said Simmons, who signed up for the programme herself and has been saving a portion of her paycheck every month automatically.

Employers routinely help workers save for retirement every pay period, but automatic withdrawals to fund emergency savings accounts have not caught on in most workplaces.

The plumbing is all there, experts said, but there is a lack of will and coordination to promote the option. With 800,000 federal workers caught up in the government shutdown, the need for emergency savings has been in the spotlight.

One problem Springdale ran into at orientations for new employees was that the new workers were enthusiastic, but many lacked savings accounts. So Simmons got the local credit union to give a presentation and sign up customers for accounts.

About 80 new hires have been offered financial training in the last six months, and the company will soon expand to the rest of the plant's 220 or so existing employees, Simmons said.

Workers take a pledge and the payroll administrator sets up the transfer. The company does not control the funds once they are deposited or even know how much anyone is saving.

"Our challenge is to increase the number of people who use existing systems," said Consumer Federation's George Barany, who noted that 84 percent of workers currently use direct deposit.

A similar programme just launched from Prudential Retirement in coordination with the organisation Prosperity Now. It has a handful of client participants, including MGM Studios, a division of MGM Holdings Inc.

While Prudential is in the retirement business, one aim with the savings sidecar is to reduce the stress on 401(k) loans and cash-outs that damage retirement savings, said Phil Waldeck, president and CEO of Prudential Retirement.

Because retirement funds are locked up to a certain extent, most Americans cannot pay to repair a simple tire blow-out.

"Cars break down, people get sick. They tap places for money that are not optimal because they are in crisis," Waldeck said. "For retirement plans to make the impact, you have to deal with long-term readiness but also short-term issues."

AARP, the nonprofit catering to older Americans, is also starting to plan such a programme. So far, the organisation has sponsored a survey on the topic and is working with noted behavioural economists David Laibson, Brigitte Madrian and John Beshears to come up with methodology for starting accounts.

AARP said its research has determined that automatic enrolment would be one of the most effective ways to build emergency savings accounts. However, legislative changes would be needed for that, and those are not likely to be coming soon.

"We are very close and sometimes you can almost taste it, then things get delayed," said David John, a senior strategic policy advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute.

EARLY RESULTS

Workplaces that have started any type of savings programme have found employees are enthusiastic.

At WesBanco, a community bank in Wheeling, West Virginia, pledges to Split to Save since February 2018 from 161 employees total $235,758 (£183,560), and the average monthly commitment is $148.68 a month.

The bank has 2,000 employees, and human resources head Lisa Werner has a goal of 800 employees at minimum. She planned to do a big push after the new year to get more people on board.

"We get hit with so many temptations, but we don’t have an equal number of positive messages that say, hey, work for something bigger and better for your family," said Werner. "We’re trying to encourage those additional messages."

The story corrects the name of the organization and client in paragraph 11 to read "A similar program just launched from Prudential Retirement...in coordination with the organization Prosperity Now...client participants, including MGM Studios, a division of MGM Holdings Inc" instead of "A similar program called Prosperity Now just launched from Prudential ... client participants, including MGM.")

(Editing by Lauren Young, David Gregorio)

By Beth Pinsker

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
KROGER -0.37% 29.32 Delayed Quote.7.02%
PRUDENTIAL BANCORP INC -0.06% 18.14 Delayed Quote.3.13%
WESBANCO INC -0.93% 39.38 Delayed Quote.8.34%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news on KROGER
01/18Shutdown clouds outlook for consumer-driven U.S. economic growth
RE
01/18KROGER : and Microsoft partner for digital retail solutions
AQ
01/17MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL : Food Fight in the Cookie Aisle -- Hydrox vs. Oreo Turns..
DJ
01/16KROGER CHAIRMAN AND CEO RODNEY MCMUL : Retail's Big Show
AQ
01/15KROGER : Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen Outlines Five Exciting Predictions for..
PR
01/15KROGER : partners with Microsoft for shelf edge, IoT solutions
AQ
01/14KROGER : Microsoft Piloting Store of the Future Technology
AQ
01/11Money woes? More companies help workers build emergency funds
RE
01/10KROGER : and Microsoft collaborate on digital shelf technology
AQ
01/08KROGER : plans $1.2 billion debt offering
RE
More news
Financials ($)
Sales 2019 122 B
EBIT 2019 2 862 M
Net income 2019 2 847 M
Debt 2019 14 483 M
Yield 2019 1,89%
P/E ratio 2019 7,83
P/E ratio 2020 12,81
EV / Sales 2019 0,31x
EV / Sales 2020 0,30x
Capitalization 23 079 M
Chart KROGER
Duration : Period :
Kroger Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends KROGER
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralBearishNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 26
Average target price 31,1 $
Spread / Average Target 7,5%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
W. Rodney McMullen Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Michael Joseph Donnelly Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
J. Michael Schlotman Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Christopher T. Hjelm Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Bobby S. Shackouls Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
KROGER7.02%23 079
SEVEN & I HOLDINGS CO., LTD.-1.69%38 132
SYSCO CORPORATION0.03%32 580
AHOLD DELHAIZE1.70%30 316
TESCO16.10%28 311
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LTD1.63%28 170