Vice Chair Crowley Welcomes Treasury Department’s Expansion of myRA Retirement Savings Program

Nov 4, 2015 Issues: Economy and Jobs

As Part of His Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures Plan, Crowley Calls for Making myRA Program Permanent

 

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, released the statement below welcoming the Treasury Department’s nationwide expansion of its myRA retirement savings program. In his Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures plan, Crowley proposed ways to make Americans more financially secure throughout their lifetimes, including making the myRA program permanent.

“We know Americans want to save for retirement, but we also know that far too many workers face significant barriers that make saving not just a daunting process, but, in many cases, simply impossible. The myRA program gives Americans a safe, stable, and portable savings option that relieves some of the common barriers workers face to saving in the first place, such as high minimum contributions and early withdrawal penalties. With the expansion of this program nationwide, more Americans will have the opportunity to save for their future and achieve much-needed financial security.

“Now, we must ensure the myRA program is here to stay. That’s why I included this program in my Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures plan, and is why I will be working to codify myRA into law. We must make every effort to put the ability to save back in the hands of American families and create a culture of saving.”

According to recent studies, one-third of all workers – and nearly two-thirds of workers earning less than $35,000 a year – report that they are not saving any money for their retirement. Many of them say they recognize the importance of saving for retirement or other potential needs, but for a variety of reasons are not using existing savings vehicles. The myRA program was created to help workers who face barriers to saving – such as not having access to an employer-sponsored savings plan, or difficulty in meeting the minimum contributions required by traditional accounts. 

The myRA program will allow a worker to open an account with as little as $1, and gives them the ability to make automatic payments every pay period. There also are no maintenance charges or fees associated with these accounts, meaning every dollar that is invested will be returned – plus interest – to the account holder. Under the myRA program, participants can withdraw funds from their account at any time tax-free and penalty-free – so these funds can be used as an emergency rainy-day fund as well as a future retirement account, further breaking down a barrier against savings.