Vice Chair Crowley Unveils New, Groundbreaking Plan to Address Savings Crisis in U.S. and Help American Families Save

April 21, 2015
Press Release

Crowley Keynotes Center for American Progress Action Fund Event,

Releases Savings and Universal Pension Plan

(Washington, D.C.) –In a major policy speech today hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, unveiled his plan to address the savings and retirement security crisis in America by giving American families the ability to better save for the future and retire with dignity. With nearly half of U.S. households having insufficient savings for an emergency, and one-third of workers saying they are not saving for retirement at all, the savings and retirement security crisis in the U.S. threatens the financial well-being of the middle class and those working to join the middle class.

Crowley’s “Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures” plan will make Americans more financially secure throughout their lifetimes by creating new financial options that encourage personal saving, expanding employer-provided retirement plans, and strengthening Social Security. Crowley released a detailed blueprint for the plan, which can be found here.

“We know that savings are the path for middle class families to achieve the American Dream, yet that dream is increasingly being put at risk. Too many Americans say that they want to save for the future, and they know they should be saving for the future – but it’s easier said than actually done,” said Rep. Crowley. “My Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures plan makes saving not just a priority, but a possibility for every American. The time to act is now.”

Crowley’s plan focuses on creating new vehicles for saving and strengthening current policies to ensure that Americans are more financially secure throughout their lifetimes:

  1. USAccounts:  Building Savings from the Start

Crowley’s plan will establish USAccounts, a long-term savings account to help every American child start their financial future on the right foot. Upon the birth of a child, a USAccount will be established in the child’s name, and the federal government will contribute $500 in seed money the first year. As families contribute to the child’s account, the government will match a portion of future yearly contributions, based on family income. The proposal also authorizes a corresponding increase to the successful Child Tax Credit for those who save through their child’s account, giving low-income families the opportunity to contribute to the savings account.

Crowley’s plan also promotes financial know-how and a greater understanding of saving options, and calls for an established partnership between all stakeholders to improve financial understanding among all Americans.

  1. myRA: Creating A Nest Egg for Long Term Savings

Crowley’s plan will make President Obama’s myRA program permanent, giving American workers a safe, stable, and portable savings option that relieves some of the common barriers workers face to saving in the first place, such as high minimum contributions and early withdrawal penalties.

  1. SAVE UP Accounts: Launching a Secure Retirement Plan

Crowley’s plan will establish universal pension accounts, called “Secure, Accessible, Valuable, Efficient Universal Pension” accounts (SAVE UPs), so every American worker has this vital asset after a lifetime of hard work. SAVE UP accounts will be funded through shared efforts between employers and employees.

  1. Continuing to Defend and Strengthen Social Security

Crowley’s plan calls for ensuring Social Security, the program that has served as a lifeline to millions of Americans for close to a century, remains strong in the 21st century by strengthening funding, standing firm against changes to the Cost of Living Allowance (“Chained CPI”), and fighting efforts to slash Social Security Disability payments to 11 million Americans.

“For the past century, Democrats have been at the forefront of putting forward big, bold ideas to bring security and peace of mind to working families. And so it will be the Democratic Party that again leads the charge to address the looming savings and retirement crisis,” continued Crowley.

Crowley’s plan incorporates key ideas that have been praised by: AARP; The Aspen Institute; Asset Building Program, New America; Center for American Progress; Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED); National Institute on Retirement Security; and Third Way.

Crowley’s speech at Center for American Progress Action Fund can be viewed here.