Building Assets from Birth: A Comparison of the Policies and Proposals on Children Savings Accounts in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea, and the United States

A look at the increasing significance of “Children’s Savings Accounts”
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This paper describes Children Savings Account (CSA) policies and proposals in Singapore, the United Kingdom (U.K.), Canada, Korea and the United States (U.S.), and explains some of their key elements.

The paper discusses:

  • Singapore’s comprehensive and innovative cradle-to-grave asset building policy that consists of the Baby Bonus Scheme, the Edusave account, and the Post-Secondary Education Account.
  • The U.K.’s Child Trust Fund - a long-term savings and investment account for children.
  • Canada’s Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) that aims to provide financial incentives to encourage saving for post-secondary education.
  • Korea’s Child Development Accounts (CDAs) for children that helps them access education, housing, and microenterprise start-up.
  • The U.S’s America Saving for Personal Investment, Retirement and Education Act that aims to promote savings, financial literacy and expand opportunities for young adults.

The paper explores the key elements of CSA proposals and policies. These include inclusiveness, “progressivity,” facilitating structures and incentives, investment options, capital growth and account uses.

It concludes that:

  • The CSA policies have already had an impact on long-term savings for children,
  • However, more can be done to increase the levels of inclusiveness, participation and savings in various schemes,
  • To help lower income families benefit more from CSAs, policies have to go beyond being universally available and progressive,
  • Automatic enrolments and deposits are highly desirable,
  • Communication and publicity materials should be tailored to reach those from the lower income groups.

About this Publication

By Loke, V. & Sherraden, M.