America’s personal savings rate is abysmally low. Last year the personal savings rate was negative, the lowest annual rate since the Great Depression. Whether the objective is to promote retirement security, improve educational attainment or increase financial literacy, the need to increase household savings is vitally clear.
Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs), which can be established automatically at birth, are gaining momentum as they form the base of many new and exciting proposals to increase savings. Many believe that CSAs hold great potential to expand economic opportunity, make financial education real, boost personal and national savings, and ensure that more young adults can go to college, buy a home, start a business, and build up a nest egg for retirement.
The United Kingdom recently enacted its own version of CSAs -- the Child Trust Fund -- establishing a savings account at birth for each of the 700,000 kids born in the UK every year. Already, over 2 million accounts have been opened. And in the U.S., bi-partisan legislative proposals -- such as the ASPIRE Act, PLUS Accounts, 401Kids, Young Saver’s Accounts, and Baby Bonds -- are paving the way for long-lasting solutions to financial education, increased savings, and retirement security.
Video of this event is available at right, while an MP3 audio recording can be downloaded here.
The Congressional Savings and Ownership Caucus is Co-Chaired by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Phil English (R-PA), Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) and Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI).
- The Honorable Jim Cooper
U.S. Congressman (D-TN)
- The Honorable Rick Santorum
U.S. Senator (R-PA)
- The Honorable Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator (D-NY)
- The Honorable Jeff Sessions
U.S. Senator (R-AL)
- The Honorable Patrick Kennedy
U.S. Congressman (D-RI)
- Deborah Adams
University of Kansas
- Reid Cramer
Research Director, Asset Building Program
New America Foundation
- Angela Duran
Southern Good Faith Fund
- David White
The Children’s Mutual, UK