The U.S. financial industry, which for years has decried the poor state of Americans retirement savings for years, is giving President Obama’s proposal to allow more workers the ability to save for retirement a cautious reception.
Mr. Obama signed a memorandum
today at a press event at a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa.,
directing the U.S. Department of the Treasury to create "MyRA," which will provide retirement savings
options to the millions of Americans that lack access to one. The savings accounts, which the president first mentioned during last night’s State of the Union address, would be
offered through Roth IRA accounts and would be backed by the U.S. government.
EBRI and others are
concerned about potential tax changes being considered by the Obama
administration that might have an impact on retirement savings. The White House is pushing
these starter retirement accounts as part of a broader push to address income
inequality and to respond to what many say is a critically low savings rate among retirees.
of U.S. retirement, echoed these remarks and called on Obama to reduce
regulatory burdens so that more companies can offer retirement plans. He said the government also needs to
encourage younger workers, who stand to benefit from starting to save early for
their golden years, to participate in these plans.
Under MyRa, investor holdings will be protected by the government, and contributions can be withdrawn tax-free at any time. Accounts can be started for an initial investment as low as $25, while contributions could be made for as little as $5. Households earning as much as $191,000 are eligible for MyRa and could save up to $15,000 for a maximum of 30 years, so it isn’t a final solution for people to save for retirement.