Reinventing Savings Bonds

Posted: 28 Oct 2005

See all articles by Daniel Schneider

Daniel Schneider

Princeton University

Peter Tufano

University of Oxford - Said Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Oxford - Said Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Savings Bonds have always served multiple objectives: funding the U.S. government, democratizing national financing, and enabling families to save. Increasingly, this last goal has been ignored. A series of efficiency measures introduced in 2003 make these bonds less attractive and less accessible to savers. Public policy should go in the opposite direction: U.S. savings bonds should be reinvigorated to help low and moderate income (LMI) families build assets. More and more, these families' saving needs are ignored by private sector asset managers and marketers. With a few relatively modest changes, the Savings Bond program can be reinvented to help these families save, while still increasing the efficiency of the program as a debt management device. Savings bonds provide market-rate returns, with no transaction costs, and are a useful commitment savings device. Our proposed changes include (a) allowing Federal taxpayers to purchase bonds with tax refunds; (b) enabling LMI families to redeem their bonds before twelve months; (c) leveraging private sector organizations to market savings bonds; and (d) contemplating a role for savings bonds in the life cycles of LMI families.

Keywords: Saving, EITC, Saving Bonds

JEL Classification: D1, E2, G2, H8, I3

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Daniel J. and Tufano, Peter, Reinventing Savings Bonds. Tax Notes, Vol. 109, No. 5, October 31, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=838464

Daniel J. Schneider

Princeton University

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HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~djschnei

Peter Tufano (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
+44 (0) 1865 288551 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
+44 (0) 1865 288551 (Phone)

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