We assisted the Taipei City government with policy and research design for its Taipei Family Development Account (TFDA) pilot program. The three-year program, implemented in 2000, was modeled after U.S.-based Individual Development Account (IDA) programs. Research in the TFDA demonstrates that low-income families in Taipei can accumulate assets for the future and that saving incentives play an important role in these families’ long-term saving and investment plans.
Today a national Child Development Account policy is emerging in Taiwan. President Tsai Ing-wen in June 2018 signed into law the Act on Savings Accounts for the Education and Development of Children and Teenagers. The legislation encourages disadvantaged families to save for their children’s future by creating publicly subsidized saving accounts. Li-Chen Cheng has spent decades testing Child Development Accounts and antipoverty measures in Taiwan and advising government officials. She is now discussing with national policy officials how to increase enrollment for the accounts under the new act.