We are calling on Congress to empower low- and middle-income Americans to build wealth by providing access to a new retirement savings program modeled after the federal Thrift Savings Plan.

Our Solution

Research shows that the right incentives can play a crucial role in helping people achieve their financial goals and attain self-sufficiency. The TSP is a proven 401(k)-like program that draws from important findings in behavioral economics to deliver outstanding results for eligible workers–including those with low income and educational attainment. 

Key features of TSP include automatic enrollment for eligible workers, low fees, simple plan options, and federal matching contributions to reward and encourage savings.

That’s why it is an ideal model for a new program designed to target workers who don’t have access to a retirement plan through their employers, thereby filling the gap in the current retirement system that is leaving tens of millions of American workers behind.

Helping hardworking Americans build wealth shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s time for Congress to work together to ensure that everyone has access to a retirement savings account like the TSP.

Under our proposed savings and investment plan, workers in the bottom income quartile could accumulate median wealth of more than $43,000 within 10 years by contributing 5 percent of their wages. A 25-year-old worker in the bottom income quartile could accumulate more than $600,000 by retirement.

Calculate the Savings

What the Experts are Saying

“Imagine how healthy and secure our collective future might look if we could diminish wealth disparities. The persistent lack of wealth at the bottom undermines faith in the basic fairness of our economic system and prevents millions of Americans from enjoying a direct stake in national growth and prosperity.”

Kevin Hassett

DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW
Hoover Institution, and Former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors

“The pandemic and recession shattered open already growing gaps in economic opportunity. As the country rebuilds, we need new ideas to build wealth and financial security for American working families. Our bold design for expanding retirement plans is one key step.”

Teresa Ghilarducci

PROFESSOR
Schwartz Professor of Economics and Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research

“This paper marks the start of an exciting new project helping to ensure that every American worker truly has a chance to build wealth, enjoy a secure retirement, and grow a nest egg for future generations. We look forward to working with partners in Congress to develop Professor Ghilarducci and Dr. Hassett’s transformative concept into bipartisan legislation in the weeks ahead.”

John Lettieri

PRESIDENT & CEO
Economic Innovation Group

“In 2019, the Federal Reserve found that for the bottom 50 percent of American families–that is half of the country–the median retirement account savings balance is $0. So, what if there is an elegant solution to this massive problem, and what if that solution already exists? Today we are going to explore the retirement gap, and a possible fix that could be staring us right in the face.”

Meghna Chakrabarti

NPR

“Imagine how healthy and secure our collective future might look if we could diminish wealth disparities. The persistent lack of wealth at the bottom undermines faith in the basic fairness of our economic system and prevents millions of Americans from enjoying a direct stake in national growth and prosperity.”

Kevin Hassett

DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW
Hoover Institution, and Former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors

“The pandemic and recession shattered open already growing gaps in economic opportunity. As the country rebuilds, we need new ideas to build wealth and financial security for American working families. Our bold design for expanding retirement plans is one key step.”

Teresa Ghilarducci

PROFESSOR
Schwartz Professor of Economics and Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research

“This paper marks the start of an exciting new project helping to ensure that every American worker truly has a chance to build wealth, enjoy a secure retirement, and grow a nest egg for future generations. We look forward to working with partners in Congress to develop Professor Ghilarducci and Dr. Hassett’s transformative concept into bipartisan legislation in the weeks ahead.”

John Lettieri

PRESIDENT & CEO
Economic Innovation Group

“In 2019, the Federal Reserve found that for the bottom 50 percent of American families–that is half of the country–the median retirement account savings balance is $0. So, what if there is an elegant solution to this massive problem, and what if that solution already exists? Today we are going to explore the retirement gap, and a possible fix that could be staring us right in the face.”

Meghna Chakrabarti

NPR

The Stats

TSP participation rates jumped by at least 20 percentage points with a government match for: eligible Black workers, those with at most a high school education, and those in the bottom one-third of earnings (according to a Congressional Budget Office Report).

Read the White Paper

Read the White Paper by Teresa Ghilarducci and Kevin Hassett.

Download the Retirement Proposal Paper

Stay Informed

  • Categories: All News, In The NewsPublished On: August 31, 2021
  • Categories: All News, News, Press ReleasePublished On: May 12, 2022
  • Categories: All Resources, AnalysisPublished On: December 1, 2021

The Inclusive Wealth Building Initiative is a project of the Economic Innovation Group.

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is an ideas laboratory and advocacy organization whose mission is to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors to forge a more dynamic American economy.

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