The Treasury Department said Friday it will begin winding down the myRA retirement account savings program begun under President Obama, in a further sign of the Trump administration’s efforts to undo the legacy of its predecessor.
Obama announced the creation of the myRA program during his State of the Union address in January 2014 as a way to give people who don’t already have an IRA or 401(k) account a way to save for their retirement. However, the program never became popular or widely promoted, and the Treasury Department said it was ending the program after a review found it wasn’t cost effective. The Treasury noted that investment in the myRA program has been extremely low, though American taxpayers have paid nearly $70 million to manage the program since 2014.
“The myRA program was created to help low to middle income earners start saving for retirement,” said U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza in a statement. “Unfortunately, there has been very little demand for the program, and the cost to taxpayers cannot be justified by the assets in the program. Fortunately, ample private sector solutions exist, which resulted in less appeal for myRA. We will be phasing out the myRA program over the coming months. We will be communicating frequently with participants to help facilitate a smooth transition to other investment opportunities.”
The Treasury pointed out that retirement savers have other options available in the private sector that charge no account maintenance fees, require no minimum balance and offer safe investment opportunities.
The Treasury plans to notify participants in the myRA program about the changes and will provide information on how to move their myRA savings to another Roth IRA. It is encouraging myRA participants to visit www.myRA.gov for more information or to call the myRA customer support phone number with any questions.