The government should give £10,000 to every citizen under 55, a report suggests, according to the BBC.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) said it could pave the way to everyone getting a basic state wage.
The idea sees two payments of £5,000 paid over two years, but certain state benefits and tax reliefs would be removed at the same time.
The RSA said it would compensate workers for the way jobs are changing.
The money would help to steer UK citizens through the 2020s, “as automation replaces many jobs, climate change hits and more people face balancing employment with social care”, the report said.
Payments would come from a British sovereign wealth fund in the form of two annual £5,000 dividends, the RSA proposes.
The payments would not be means tested, and applicants would only have to demonstrate how they intended to use the money.
Anthony Painter, director of the RSA’s Action and Research Centre, said: “The simple fact is that too many households are highly vulnerable to a shock in a decade of disruption, with storm clouds on the horizon if automation, Brexit and an ageing population are mismanaged.
“Without a real change in our thinking, neither tweaks to the welfare state nor getting people into work alone, when the link between hard work and fair pay has broken, will help working people meet the challenges ahead.”
The report says the fund could help people: “A low-skilled worker might reduce their working hours to attain skills enabling career progression.
“The fund could provide the impetus to turn an entrepreneurial idea into a reality. It could be the support that enables a carer to be there for a loved one.”
The fund would be built from public debt, levies on untaxed corporate assets and investments in long term infrastructure projects, and be similar to Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund.
As the dividends would replace payments such as Child Benefit, Tax Credits and Jobseeker’s Allowance, the savings for the government could also be ploughed into the fund.