Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime
The goal of this work is to promote social protection programs that help low-income families achieve economic stability.
Worldwide, poor households have a hard time building assets. Their incomes are barely adequate to cover daily living expenses, leaving them few, if any, resources to save for emergencies or toward long-term economic security.
Most governments lack adequate social protection programs to reduce the vulnerability of their citizens. In 2006, $746 billion in direct federal spending and tax subsidies went to programs intended to promote economic mobility, but most of the benefits went to upper-income Americans and bypassed the majority of people who needed the benefits the most.
Expanding opportunities for poor and low-income families worldwide to access public and private programs that encourage savings would enable families to build economic security over a lifetime.
What We're Doing
In the United States, our work promotes public support for policies that create universal and progressive savings accounts as well as Social Security reforms that increase benefits for low-wage workers.
Internationally, we concentrate on helping people accumulate savings through programs that combine matched savings services with conditional cash transfer programs (which reward low-income families for adhering to the requirements of a "social contract") to create permanent financial assets for poor households.
The focus of all of our work is on the development and maintenance of permanent social protection programs that can create financial assets that break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Learn more about how our strategies and approaches shape our grant making.
What We're Following
- Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America The Urban Institute illustrates how various factors have contributed to growing wealth disparities in the U.S. over the past 50 years.
- Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation The Urban Institute's report explores the gap in wealth between minority groups and non-Hispanic white Americans, and finds that it has widened since the recession.
- Assets & Opportunity Scorecard CFED's comprehensive, interactive report assesses Americans' financial security today and future opportunities to build assets across homeownership, employment and more.
- Repairing the U.S. Social Safety Net Urban Institute Press book encourages social welfare reform to reduce poverty.
- The Economic Impact of Payday Lending in Economically Vulnerable Communities Howard University Center on Race and Wealth’s report analyzes the economic impact of payday loans in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.