New America Paper Makes the Case for Universal Children’s Savings Accounts

Today, the Asset Building Program released a new paper that examines the policy rationale for implementing a universal system of children’s savings accounts (CSAs) in the United States.

 

“A growing chorus, including President Obama, now believes that a prosperous future for our country will depend on the creation of a save-and-invest economy that will enable all Americans to accumulate savings and assets. While in the short-term, public investment should be expanded in order to stabilize the economy, any long-term plan for sustainable economic growth will have to involve increased household savings over an extended time horizon. One promising approach to that goal is children’s savings accounts (CSAs), which would be established at birth for every American.

This paper makes the case for establishing a universal system of children’s savings accounts (CSAs) in the United States. It provides a brief overview of the essential components of a CSA and how they would work, and the rationale and evidence for a CSAs plan.”

 

Some of the major benefits of a CSA system that are described in the paper include economic security, asset building, savings throughout life, asset effects, financial education, and financial inclusion. The paper also examines the United Kingdom’s CSA system, called the Child Trust Fund, and one example of how CSAs could be implemented here called the ASPIRE Act.   

 

Overall, a universal system of CSAs would represent a major investment in both America’s children and the national economy with many positive outcomes. Click here to read the whole paper.

Author:

David Newville is director of government affairs at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, where he oversees CFED's federal policy and advocacy work. He was previously a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Consumer Policy.