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Improving retirement savings among informal sector workers

How can behavioral science help informal sector workers meet their savings goals?

How do people decide how much to consume today versus how much to save for the future? The answer to this question is central for many important economic analyses and government policies. Savings behavior observed across many situations exhibit numerous inconsistencies with standard models of inter-temporal choice. The psychological view that emerges from this line of research has very different implications for the factors that influence the savings behavior and ultimately for how institutions and incentive mechanisms should be designed.

Kenya is a market with a unique capacity to widely increase the ability to increase savings access given the high penetration of mobile money, but the current market adoption is relatively limited.MBAO pension plan was an independent individual retirement account established by Eagle Africa, with support from the Retirement Benefits Authority, in 2010 as an effort to expand access to social insurance solutions for informal sector workers.

Our theory was that by using behavioral insights on a digital platform, the likelihood of households saving could be increased.