CEO: This is what should be done to help savers

Low interest rates cost savers billions: CEO
Low interest rates cost savers billions: CEO

With low interest rates costing savers billions of dollars, the government should step in and offer 5 percent bonds to certain people, the CEO of Levin Capital Strategies said Wednesday.

"Low interest rates did make sense in the financial crisis. Low interest rates did make sense when balance sheets were impaired," John Levin told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"I think they've now, at least ... gotten to a counterpoint that is scaring people who are living longer and scared about their money."

After keeping rates near zero for years, the Federal Reserve hiked its interest rate target a quarter point in December. It was the first such move since June 29, 2006.

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Those low rates have cost savers about $7.7 billion over the past 10 years, according to research from NerdWallet, a personal finance information site.

Levin proposes the government bonds be available to those who are over 70 years old, who have paid into Social Security for about 10 or 15 years and have less than $50,000 in income. There should also be some type of a cap on the bond, perhaps up to $400,000, he said.

"People will spend that income. It will be stimulative to the economy," he argued. "People are scared to spend."

Levin has suggested the idea to a couple of politicians, but for now, no one is biting.

— CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.