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Designing a Life-Course Savings Account: How to help low-to-middle income families save more

families, finance, personal finances, poverty, taxation

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Author(s):  Tony Dolphin
Published date:  25 Apr 2011
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This paper reports the results of research designed to identify the features of a savings account that would appeal particularly to low-to-middle income families while also being viable for financial service providers.

Families in the UK, especially low-to-middle income families – the median family income in 2008/09 was around £26,000 – find it hard to save, other than for short-term events such as Christmas and family birthdays. Among the reasons they give is a belief that the right savings vehicle does not exist for them.

Based on workshops with would-be service users and providers, this report identifies the key features of an attractive and feasible 'life-course savings account' and proposes two specific savings products: a Lifetime Bonus Savings Account, aimed at encouraging saving, particularly to help families cope with emergencies, and a Long-term Investment Account, designed to replace the existing cash ISA scheme for savers at a higher level. These kinds of savings products balance rewards for savers against the cost to the public purse.

 
 

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Tony Dolphin, Senior Economist and Associate Director for Economic Policy

 

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