The report comes at a time when some federal policymakers want to end the program and while states and localities are launching similar initiatives of their own.
For almost 20 years, a little-known federal government program has tried to help low-income workers save money. Until now, no one knew whether it was successful. But according to the most comprehensive study of the program to date, its participants are slightly more likely to have savings and save significantly more money than low-income people who aren't in the program.
The report, which was conducted by the Urban Institute, comes at a time when some federal policymakers want to end the program and while states and localities are launching similar government-backed saving initiatives of their own.
Under the Assets for Independence (AFI) program, people who set aside some of their earnings on a regular basis get rewarded with a matching deposit from the government. It must be a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $8 for every $1 saved. Over time, the hope is that people can pay for things that will improve their lives, such as a car, home, college education or business.