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Delta’s Emergency Savings Program boosts employee savings and financial wellness

More than 21,500 Delta employees have participated in the Emergency Savings Program since it launched in January, helping Delta people strengthen their financial wellness through online instruction, one-on-one coaching and an emergency savings safety net.
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In the first nine months since launching our Emergency Savings Program, more than 21,500 Delta employees have completed the steps to increase their financial knowledge and earn $1,000 to fund their rainy-day accounts. Participants reported a 62% increase in their sense of financial control and a 139% increase in feeling able to save for other goals.

These results, and more about the Emergency Savings Program and its impact on the financial wellness of Delta people, are available in a new whitepaper viewable at DeltaFinancialWellness.com. The whitepaper was introduced by Delta CEO Ed Bastian at the Operation HOPE Global Forum Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 11, 2023. Operation HOPE and Fidelity Investments are Delta’s partners in delivering financial education, coaching and savings tools to employees.

“When we looked at the fact that over 50 percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 they can put their hands on today in the event of a financial emergency, and the amount of stress and insecurity that creates, I said I can’t solve that for the world, but I can solve that for the 100,000 people at Delta Air Lines – and hopefully get the movement going among other corporations,” Ed said during a conversation on stage with John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.

“This shows that you can do well and do good at the same time,” said Mr. Bryant, affirming the importance of Delta’s investment in its people as smart for business.

The Emergency Savings Program is designed to help Delta people strengthen their financial wellness through online instruction, one-on-one coaching and an emergency savings safety net. Launched in January 2023, it is available to all U.S. employees below the director level and allows participants to choose from three paths based on their personal goals and financial situation followed by individualized coaching sessions from Fidelity Investments or Operation HOPE.

Participating employees receive $750 from Delta deposited directly into the Fidelity Investments emergency savings account opened as part of the program. In addition, Delta matches the first $250 of the employee’s personal contributions to the same account and covers estimated taxes so the employee can access the full $1,000.

The first nine months of Delta’s Emergency Savings Program garnered strong participation:

  • 29% of eligible employees have started the education program.
  • 33,000+ Fidelity Cash Management Accounts have been opened by Delta employees.
  • 21,500 employees have completed the program to earn their $1,000.
  • 51% are employees of color, noted as this investment in financial wellness supports Delta’s commitment to close wealth gaps between the diversity of frontline talent and leadership within the company.
  • $21 million in Delta contribution incentives earned.
  • $74 average payroll deduction set up by employees to fund their emergency savings accounts.
  • $1,061 average total employee contribution to date – more than four times the $250 contribution required to receive the $250 match from Delta.

Coupling the savings program with education and coaching has significantly impacted employees’ confidence in regaining control over their financial future. Participants who were surveyed at the beginning and end of the program reported:

  • 62% increase in sense of financial control.
  • 139% increase in feeling able to save for goals other than emergency savings.
  • 42% increase in ability to cover a $1,000 expense with emergency savings.
  • 33% increase in ability to save for retirement.
  • 41% increase in ability to spend less than you earn.

“What other company do you know of that is giving you free money to make sure you are on top of your financial education?” said Loretta Day, a Delta flight attendant based in Atlanta. “I am a better steward over my finances because of Delta. I have emergency money and am more educated on my finances, investments and stocks.”

“The increased sense of financial control among our participating employees is meaningful in so many ways,” said Kelley Elliott, Delta’s V.P. of Total Rewards. “Better financial health impacts not only your bank account, but also your overall health and wellness. This also supports our broader commitment to close wealth gaps, increase access to opportunities and foster equitable outcomes for all."

Read more about Delta’s Emergency Savings Program and its impact at DeltaFinancialWellness.com.

ONE SHEET | Delta's Emergency Savings Program

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