Financial Services

Asset Building News Week, July 21-25

July 25, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include financial services and knowledge, poverty, and jobs.

New Report: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention

July 22, 2014
Publication Image Properly designed Child Development Accounts (CDAs) can have lasting, positive effects on children's educational development and can improve their long-term economic outcomes. That's the argument of a new paper we're releasing today, "Investing in Children: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention," which was authored by two scholars at the University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare, Terri Friedline, an Asset Building Program Research Fellow, and Nik Schuetz. While much discussion of CDAs (also known as CSAs or Children's Savings Accounts; the terms are interchangeable) treats the accounts in isolation, Friedline and Schuetz argue that, to be most effective, CDAs should be situated within the broader context of other early childhood interventions like pre-K and Head Start.

New Report Highlights the Business Case to Make Youth Savings Work

July 28, 2014
Washington, DC – The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) released a report today that examines the business considerations for financial service providers offering savings products to young people. The report, “The Business Case for Youth Savings: A Framework,” analyzes the different factors that financial service providers need to consider when entering or being active in the youth savings market. 
 

Asset Building News Week, July 7-11

July 11, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include housing, homeownership, and financial education. 

Will GAO Examine Savings Bond Policy?

June 24, 2014
Publication Image We've long been in favor of expanding access to savings bonds. They're well-known, secure and historically have been available to everyone. Unfortunately, that's not really the case anymore. The Treasury Department eliminated retail sales of paper bonds a few years back and also ended a payroll purchase program. Treasury seems to have preferred to try to skip a generation by moving all sales online, through their TreasuryDirect portal. Unfortunately, this creates all manner of issues for Americans.

Asset Building News Week, June 16-20

June 20, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include children's savings, retirement savings, financial services, inequality, and housing.

Asset Building News Week, June 2-6

June 6, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include poverty, employment, and retirement.

Asset Building News Week, May 26-30

May 30, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the case for reparations, savings, and education.

Should We Save Like the Singaporeans Do?

May 29, 2014
Editor's note: This piece originally appeared on New America's Weekly Wonk as part of the series, Globalization’s Canary: Singapore at 50.  In the half-century since its independence, the strategically located city-state has leveraged its access to the global economy, and a number of innovative policies on issues ranging from housing to savings and social cohesion, to become one of the world’s most affluent societies.  As they prepare to celebrate their milestone, Singaporeans are in a reflective mood, taking stock of what’s been accomplished, while also expressing some unease about the sustainability of their current model going forward.  In that same spirit, New America Asset Building Program Director Reid Cramer explores whether Singapore’s innovative savings system could work in the United States.
 
In recent years, policymakers around the world have begun exploring the potential of asset-based welfare policy. There is a growing recognition that while income facilitates immediate consumption, people move up the economic ladder and become economically secure when they are able to build up a pool of assets that they can deploy productively. The experience of Singapore and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) provides an instructive case study for the potential of this approach. Although it was initially designed as a mandatory savings scheme to facilitate retirement security while minimizing welfare payments, it has evolved into a comprehensive social security savings plan with various pre-retirement uses such as financing healthcare, child development, post-secondary education, home ownership, and asset building.

As an account-based social policy system, the CPF offers instructive lessons for any country, particularly when we begin to break down why it has worked so well. One feature that makes it particularly effective is that everybody is automatically enrolled – so taking initiative or having special knowledge of investments and savings isn’t required. Contributions to the fund are not optional, but the resources that accrue can eventually be accessed by the account holder. And there are incentives to increase participation among those with lower incomes, introducing a degree of progressivity to the program.

Asset Building News Week, May 19-23

May 23, 2014
The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include racial inequality, housing, public assistance, and financial inclusion.
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