The way to a national financial education strategy

Strengthening financial education and financial skills

In autumn 2021, a national financial education strategy is to be presented. Its aim is to increase awareness, strengthen financial skills and enhance people's understanding in the area of financial education.

The increasing complexity of the financial markets and financial products, the rapid advance of digitalization, repeated cases of fraud in the financial services sector and the necessity of engaging more with providing for one's own retirement all require an ever greater degree of financial education and financial skill. Financial education enables us to make sound decisions on daily consumer matters. This enables responsible handling of one's available personal budget and with pension and savings products. An awareness of risks and opportunities inherent in financial products and different forms of financing, as well as the effects of debt, makes a significant contribution to personal welfare and to the general welfare of a society.

The aim of devising a national financial education strategy for Austria is to set collective uniform standards for stakeholders in financial education, as well as to create better channels for information exchange. It is particularly important to address the topic of financial education collectively, so as to avoid duplication and achieve the best possible outcomes.

What has happened so far?

Since May 2020 already, the project for devising a national financial education strategy for Austria has been ongoing at the Federal Ministry of Finance. In an initial phase, the OECD, jointly with the Finance Ministry, devised a so-called mapping report, which collates existing national financial education measures and activities in Austria and analyses international best practices. In a second phase, currently ongoing, the Finance Ministry is now working on the concrete structures, aims and measures of the national financial education strategy.

Blümel: Financial education is the best pension provision of all – the Finance Ministry is devising a national strategy (in German).

In parallel to the work on a nationwide financial education strategy, until the end of March 2021 an ideas competition was run bearing the title "Financial Literacy – working together to design financial education in Austria" on the BMF co-creation platform e³lab, at www.e3lab.at. In the process, over 100 ideas were gathered from school pupils, class groups and young people, as well as interested citizens. These ideas are currently being evaluated by the Finance Ministry's expert jury panel.

BMF: Online Ideas Challenge for a national financial education strategy for Austria (in German).

Between now and the end of the year, in a media collaboration with Austrian daily newspaper Kurier, the topic of financial knowledge will be illuminated from a whole variety of perspectives. All the articles published to date can be found at Finanzwissen | kurier.at (in German).