Are Low-Income Savers Still in the Lurch? TFSAs at 10 Years
Author: Richard Shillington
Topic: Asset building and saving, Financial literacy
Publisher: IRPP
Location: Canada
Format: Report
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: April 30, 2019

The introduction of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2009 transformed how  Canadians save. One of the main reasons for creating TFSAs was to provide a taxassisted savings instrument for low-income Canadians to enable them to improve their retirement income. Now, 10 years later, many low-income savers are still not using TFSAs in ways that would allow them to benefit fully from the government transfer programs intended for them in retirement, such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Consequently, intended benefits from TFSAs are going untapped. Improving public education and financial literacy may be part of the solution to this problem, but built-in policy nudges and tax adjustments will be more effective.

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