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MyRA, a new retirement savings option from the U.S. Treasury

Written by Diane Archer

Most older adults have limited savings. But, it’s estimated that seven out of ten older adults will need long-term services and supports at some point in their lives, typically for three years. If family and friends are unable to provide care services, the costs can be high. Beginning this month, the U.S. Treasury offers people myRA, a new way to save for retirement.

What is myRA? MyRA is a retirement savings account that allows you to save up to $15,000. Your money is invested in a U.S. Treasury retirement savings bond.

What does it cost to set up myRA? There are no enrollment, money management or other costs or fees and no risk of losing money.

Can I lose money if I invest in myRA? You cannot lose money in myRA. Your savings are guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and will grow over time. You will earn the same interest as federal employees who invest in the Government Securities Fund, which was 2.14 percent in 2014 and 3.19 percent over the ten years ending December 2014.To understand how your savings will grow, visit the U.S. Treasury MyRA site, here.

Who is eligible for myRA? MyRA is designed for people who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their jobs.

How much money can you put into your myRA? MyRA gives you flexibility to save as little as you’d like and up to $5500 a year if you’re under 50 and $6500 a year if you’re 50 and over. You can save up to $15,000 in your myRA.  After your account reaches $15,000 or after 30 years, your savings will be transferred to a private-sector managed Roth IRA.

How do you put money into your myRA? You can have your employer automatically deduct money from your paycheck for your myRA. Or, you can write a check whenever you’d like to your myRA account. You can also ask that a federal tax refund go to your myRA.

What happens if you leave your job? If you leave your job, your myRA leaves with you.

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2 Comments

  • …a treasury bond. The funds for which are no more protected than Social Security taxes from being used for other purposes like funding overseas wars or offsetting politician’s pet programmes in the meantime. This is what a bond is, you are giving money in good faith to a government or financial institution at interest for them to use the money for a purpose that is either specific (school, library, roads, etc) or open (Treasury bond, bank bond) in the expectation that it will “mature” after a set time. So what happens to this “good faith investment” if there is another shutdown, or a sequester? Or Congress does not approve raising the debt ceiling the next time? Or there is another crash of the commercial finance sector?

    The real solution is to fix Social Security by making it a true “protected trust” (as it has often been touted as) where all proceeds are only used for the benefit of its recipients and nothing else. Furthermore the surplus funds that were, in the past, appropriated for “other government purposes” under Treasury Account provisions need to and should be paid back into the trust so that all generations can have something to look forward to and recipients are no longer forced to live in poverty.

    • Good points BC Shelby! Additionally it’s important to consider that Frank Lew (who created MyRA) is merely on leave from CitiGroup and therefore might not really be as motivated to help regular people struggling to survive as he’s interested in benefiting the corporation he’ll be rewarded by after his stint at Treasury when he returns to Citi (see revolving door and Golden Handshakes). Also of note is Obama’s determination to cut and privatize Social Security a fact which he made abundantly clear when he created the Simpson/Bowles (Cat food ) Commission which was tasked with inventing the reason to undermine, weaken and eventually turn the SS fund over to the Wall Street masters who funded his Billion dollar campaign. MyRA is part of that game plan. Regarding Simpson/Bowles and Obama’s desire to pay back his masters remember the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and he was under no pressure whatsoever from Republicans to mess with Social Security.

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