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Reid Cramer: All Related Content

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New America NYC: Rich Hill

July 31, 2014


Why Do Chinese Students Know More About Money Than Americans Do? | The Atlantic

July 9, 2014

“There’s a lot we don’t know about what works in financial education,” said Reid Cramer, director of the Assets Building Program at New America, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. “We don’t know how information translates to knowledge, and there’s real challenge to teaching people who aren’t connected to financial systems in a basic way.”

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Children's Savings: How Far We've Come

June 18, 2014
Children's Savings Accounts have received a great deal of attention in 2014. The incoming Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), made a splash when he highlighted CSAs as one of his top priorities upon taking the gavel.

Children's Savings Accounts

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Rachel Black,
  • Justin King,
  • New America Foundation
June 18, 2014
The American Dream is built upon the enduring values of equal opportunity and personal responsibility. Ensuring that this dream remains attainable depends upon America being able to promote these values among rising generations. Research and experience in the field consistently supports the thesis that children's savings accounts (CSAs) can provide a vehicle to support these objectives.

Obama's MyRA Proposal Needs Flexibility

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
June 3, 2014 |

Obama's myRA Proposal Needs Flexibility

June 3, 2014
Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Hill on June 3, 2014. To read the full article, please click here.

In this year's State of the Union, President Obama announced his intention to create a new type of savings vehicle for workers who lack coverage through their employers — the myRA or "my Retirement Account." The motivation for the effort was easy enough to see. Changes to the retirement savings landscape over the last 30 years have left far too many workers financially underprepared for their golden years. Pensions have virtually disappeared, and the 401(k)-type plans that were intended to replace them have shifted risk and costs onto individual workers. Today, only about half the workforce is even participating in a plan, let alone saving enough. The reality is that with such poor coverage and low contributions, the transition to a 401(k)-dominated retirement system has become a failed social experiment, one that is exacerbating economic inequalities.

Should We Save Like the Singaporeans Do?

May 29, 2014
Editor's note: This piece originally appeared on New America's Weekly Wonk as part of the series, Globalization’s Canary: Singapore at 50.  In the half-century since its independence, the strategically located city-state has leveraged its access to the global economy, and a number of innovative policies on issues ranging from housing to savings and social cohesion, to become one of the world’s most affluent societies.  As they prepare to celebrate their milestone, Singaporeans are in a reflective mood, taking stock of what’s been accomplished, while also expressing some unease about the sustainability of their current model going forward.  In that same spirit, New America Asset Building Program Director Reid Cramer explores whether Singapore’s innovative savings system could work in the United States.
In recent years, policymakers around the world have begun exploring the potential of asset-based welfare policy. There is a growing recognition that while income facilitates immediate consumption, people move up the economic ladder and become economically secure when they are able to build up a pool of assets that they can deploy productively. The experience of Singapore and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) provides an instructive case study for the potential of this approach. Although it was initially designed as a mandatory savings scheme to facilitate retirement security while minimizing welfare payments, it has evolved into a comprehensive social security savings plan with various pre-retirement uses such as financing healthcare, child development, post-secondary education, home ownership, and asset building.

As an account-based social policy system, the CPF offers instructive lessons for any country, particularly when we begin to break down why it has worked so well. One feature that makes it particularly effective is that everybody is automatically enrolled – so taking initiative or having special knowledge of investments and savings isn’t required. Contributions to the fund are not optional, but the resources that accrue can eventually be accessed by the account holder. And there are incentives to increase participation among those with lower incomes, introducing a degree of progressivity to the program.

Americans' New Piggy Bank: The 401(K) | Bloomberg Businessweek

May 15, 2014

“They get hit with the penalty at exactly the time when they're the most vulnerable,” says Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation, which tries to improve savings for lower-income families. “So it's a real ...

Solving the Retirement Puzzle

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • Justin King,
  • Elliot Schreur,
  • Aleta Sprague,
  • New America Foundation
May 12, 2014
The growing recognition that millions of Americans are ill-prepared for retirement has prompted a number of state and federal policy proposals to promote retirement security. Yet even the most promising proposals fail to acknowledge a prerequisite to sustaining long-term savings: access to flexible resources that can be tapped in an emergency or can support productive investments that can pay off over the long haul.

Early Tap of 401(k) Replaces Homes as American Piggy Bank | Bloomberg

May 6, 2014

“They get hit with the penalty at exactly the time when they’re the most vulnerable,” said Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation, which tries to improve savings for lower-income families. “So it’s a real double-whammy.”

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