I was pleased to see recent news that President Obama used his weekly address to announce new initiatives to promote savings. (White House, New York Times, New America Foundation). Among other ideas, he charged the IRS with implementing a checkbox on tax returns that would allow you to save a portion of your refund in savings bonds. Behavioral economics teaches us that making saving simpler and available at an opportune time will lead to more people saving. CAP worked with D2D Fund in a pilot to offer savings bonds through our free tax preparation program.
Additionally, the president is seeking new rules that would encourage employers to automatically enroll their workers in retirement plans unless employees opt out. As I’ve mentioned before, “opt out” rules increase take-up of positive behaviors dramatically without limiting one’s freedom or constraining their choices.