Raising household saving
A British Academy Policy Centre report prepared by the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Thomas F Crossley
Concern that many individuals are not saving enough, particularly for retirement, has been prominent in UK policy discussions for many years. Successive governments have attempted to increase household saving through a number of different policy interventions, focused predominantly on changes to the pension system.
Raising household saving examines in detail what is known – and what is not known – about the effectiveness of various policies designed to increase saving by households. It offers a critical review of the literature in four main areas: financial incentives; information, education and training; choice architecture or ‘nudge’; and social marketing.
The report provides an invaluable guide to the available evidence from the UK and abroad. It also warns that while household saving has been an area of keen focus for policymakers in recent years, the current state of the evidence base is disappointing. To adequately tackle this issue the gaps in our knowledge urgently need to be addressed.