The Military Family Financial Readiness Coalition (MFFRC) met for the third meeting of the year on July 27, 2022 to share best practices, present timely information, and address opportunities to more effectively meet the financial needs of military and veteran families.
Dod finred updates
Andy Cohen, Director of the Department of Defense’s Office of Financial Readiness for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Education & Training), shared financial literacy and counseling program updates, including:
- Financial Health: Following a memo on strengthening economic security in the force, DoD published the Financial Well-Being Assessment. This tool helps service members and their families conduct a “check up” on their financial health by using a simple 12-question measure to assign a score and assign curated resources.
- Annual Report to Congress: DoD submits an annual report on the financial literacy and preparedness of members of the Armed Forces to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives. The 2022 report includes results from the 2020 Status of Forces Survey (SOFS), an overview of DoD financial readiness programs, and a description of how survey results are used to evaluate and update training.
- Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation: At the time of this meeting, the fourteenth QRMC charter is still awaiting signature. As a primer, the last QRMC may be found here.
A national security advisor for U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (GA) provided a glimpse into their office’s efforts to address financial preparedness among military families. In 2022, Senator Warnock:
- Secured a bipartisan FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to collect Department of Defense data on prevalence rates and inhibitors of military spouse un- and under-employment.
- Led a letter urging Defense Secretary Austin for additional oversight of the housing facilities operated by Balfour Beatty Communities to ensure safe living conditions at the 55 communities involved in the $65 million settlement between BBC and the U.S. government.
- Served as an original cosponsor of the Military Family Nutrition Access Act, which permanently combats military family food insecurity by excluding the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) — a subset of military compensation intended to cover the costs of off-base housing — from income calculations used to determine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility.
- Introduced a four-part legislative package to provide relief and recourse to service members and military families who are left vulnerable to fluctuating markets, rising prices, inadequate base housing, and privatized military housing companies. This legislation is the Senate companion to the Ensuring Every Service Member Has A Home package introduced by U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) in spring 2022.
Data deep dive
An MFAN researcher unpacked financial readiness findings from our latest research – the 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey. The data presentation included rich insight into families’ ability to save, their experiences with debt, and the dynamics of household financial management.
Review the full survey report and watch the data release here.
Funded by Wells Fargo, the MFFRC consists of more than 60 public and private organizations with a vested interest in the financial wellness and stability of military families.
To learn more, recommend a discussion topic, or submit a presentation request, contact Derek Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.