Commonwealth & EARN Launch “Savers Win” to Encourage Tax Refund Savings

Partnership between leading experts in behavioral finance and consumer engagement offers cash prizes to encourage Americans to pledge and save their tax refunds.

January 30, 2018, San Francisco, California – A new program launched by nonprofits EARN and Commonwealth aims to encourage more Americans to save part of their 2017 tax refund. Designed with behavioral insights from Common Cents Lab, Savers Win is a limited-time promotion offered through EARN’s SaverLife.org platform. In addition to the chance to win cash prizes for saving their refund, entrants are eligible for cash rewards for monthly saving.

“A tax refund is the largest paycheck of the year for many working families, and their most significant opportunity to create a savings cushion for the rest of the year,” said Leigh Phillips, CEO of EARN. “But building a savings cushion is seen by many as a long-term goal – something to do ‘tomorrow’. Savers Win creates an exciting opportunity for people to find instant gratification in saving their refund by adding cash prizes to the mix.”

Savers Win is supported by a grant from the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation. “According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 44% of Americans are ‘financially fragile’ and could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt. That’s a stark reality for a lot of tax-filers. Pairing a savings program like Savers Win with IRS free resources, such as IRS Free File and VITA, is vital to promoting financial capability and independence for lower-income Americans,” said Susan Mason, Director of Intuit’s Financial Freedom Foundation.

Tax season is a prime savings moment, with 76 million households with incomes of $50,000 or less receiving over $177 billion in federal tax refunds, an average of $2,330 per filer in 2015. That’s why EARN and Commonwealth have come together to launch Savers Win, a promotion to encourage people to save part of their tax refunds. More than 1,800 people have already taken the pledge to save at saverlife.org/savers-win.

“Saving even a small amount can be an important step on the path to financial security ” said Tim Flacke, Executive Director of Commonwealth. “The chance to win a prize for saving has a proven track record of helping financially vulnerable Americans start and build savings and we are thrilled to collaborate with EARN to bring the excitement of prizes to their SaverLife members across the country.”

To be eligible for the Savers Win weekly prize drawings, contestants must pledge to save at least $50 of their tax refund with a direct deposit to their bank account and become a member of SaverLife.org. As soon as the direct deposit shows up, participants are automatically entered in weekly drawings for $100 prizes throughout tax-season. In addition, after saving a portion of their tax refund, Savers are eligible to participate in a $5,000 Grand Prize Story Contest. By entering Savers Win, participants are also enrolled in SaverLife’s “save $20, earn $10” program with more opportunities to save.

SaverLife empowers Americans to take charge of their finances by providing digital financial coaching content, access to resources, and small-dollar cash incentives for regularly setting aside savings. Designed to serve consumers making an average income of $25,000, SaverLife seeks to transform the way low-to-moderate income Americans can use financial technology to save money. More information is available at SaverLife.org.

Tax filers can enter Savers Win now at SaverLife.org/Savers-Win.