Personal savings for those on lower incomes: towards a new framework for assessing the role of the state in relation to savings schemes

James Gregory, Andy Lymer, Karen Rowlingson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the role of the state in helping households to save. Using the UK as an example of challenges faced in other developed countries, it develops a framework for comparing saving schemes along two dimensions: apparent normative motivation for the scheme and likely impact on savers of varying income levels. Using this framework, our analysis suggests that there is much greater state support for high-income savers than low-income savers, even after the recent introduction of the ‘Help to Save’ scheme. So, while this scheme has provided some support for this group, we propose ways to expand it through providing initial seed funding to each account and greater marketing and accessibility. We note, however, that an important way to help those on low incomes to save is to increase their incomes so they have more capacity to do so.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021


  • personal savings
  • asset-based welfare
  • citizenship rights
  • economic and social development
  • help to save

Cite this