Finance and Assets

Aspen IFS Executive Director Lisa Mensah Speaks at National Savings Forum

May 21, 2014  • Institute Contributor

The Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) was one of the co-conveners of the 2014 National Savings Forum. Aspen IFS Founder and Executive Director Lisa Mensah served on the day’s first panel, which was entitled “Why Save? Behavioral Economics and its Implications for Saving.”

As part of the discussion with the moderator and audience, Mensah provided her insights on how policymakers are incorporating behavioral economics principles into retirement savings policy proposals. Saving at the workplace and at tax time are the two focuses with the most traction from leaders of both political parties. Matches are also supported as ways to drive savings behavior, particularly for low- and middle-income individuals. Sens. Cardin (D-MD), Hatch (R-UT), and Murphy (D-CT) spoke about these issues at Aspen IFS’ Congressional Briefing in January, and Reps. Crowley (D-NY), Neal (D-MA), and Petri (R-WI) spoke about them at the March Congressional Briefing.

Additionally,┬áMensah noted that automation and simplicity are key features designed to preserve “bandwidth” – borrowing a term from Sendhil Mullainaithan and Eldar Shafir’s book Scarcity, which was the subject of an Aspen IFS book talk last year.

To learn more about the National Savings Forum, please click here.