The U.S. Department of the Treasury has developed myRA, also known as my Retirement Account, to assist the millions of Americans who face barriers associated with saving for retirement.
As a non-fee retirement starter savings account, myRA was developed primarily for workers who want to save for retirement, but have yet to find the right way to get started.
It can also work as a supplement to a 401(k) plan employers may offer.
Here is how the official myRA website defines the program:
“The United States Treasury has designed a new retirement savings option that makes it easy for you to participate, with no minimums, fees or risky investments.”
While that provides a good overview, here are the three primary benefits to employees:
It doesn’t matter how much you can regularly save, it is simple to get started. Here is why:
- Automatic contributions deducted from your paycheck.
- The account stays with you, even if you leave your job.
- Ability to withdraw money at any time without the need to pay tax or a penalty.
Let’s face it: some retirement investments feel too risky for most people. This is never a concern with a myRA. Here is why:
- myRA will never decrease in value.
- Your information is secure and private.
- The investment is backed by the United States Treasury.
Unlike many types of retirement accounts and investments, it does not cost anything to open an account. Furthermore, there are other cost saving benefits:
- No maintenance fees.
- The option to contribute the amount that suits your budget.
- Tax advantages.
Is it the Right Account?
Just because you are interested in a myRA does not mean it is the right type of retirement savings account for you. You should consider this option if you:
- Have a desire to save for retirement, but have yet to get started.
- You are a wage earner who does not have access to a retirement plan through your employer.
- You earn less than $191,000 per year as a married couple filing jointly or less than $129,000 per year filing single.
Note: at this time, the only way to fund your myRA account is through an employer direct deposit.
If you want to save for retirement and you don’t earn more than the income threshold, the only other question is: does your employer offer a retirement plan? While some do, our recent survey shows that this is not the case across the board.
We asked small companies nationwide the following question: which tax advantaged accounts do you offer employees? Here are the results:
- 401k: 27.8%
- Health savings account: 6.3%
- Flexible spending account: 2.4%
- None of the above: 70.4%
As you can see, some companies don’t provide employees with access to any type of tax advantaged account. For these employees, a myRA may be the best way to start saving for retirement.
How Does it Work?
myRA is designed for simplicity. Each pay period, you can automatically deposit money from your paycheck into your account. There is no risk of losing money, with your funds earning interest along the way. You can save in this manner up to $15,000.
Getting started is a three step process:
- Open your account by completing an application online or by phone. You can start the online application on the official myRA website.
- Provide your employer with a direct deposit authorization form. This ensures that your deposit is deducted from each paycheck.
- Watch your money grow. You can manage your account via the official myRA website.
You have the option to save money in your myRA account for a maximum of 30 years or until you have reached $15,000. At that point, your money will be rolled over to a Roth IRA.
Information for Employers
As an employer, you can assist employees in saving money with a myRA. You don’t have to administer the account. You don’t have to contribute any money. All you have to do is follow a couple simple steps:
- Share information with your employees, ensuring that they are familiar with the myRA program and what it has to offer.
- Set up a direct deposit for any employee with a myRA account.
It’s that simple. A minimal amount of work on your behalf can greatly improve the future financial well being of your workforce.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury makes note of three key employer benefits of myRA:
- No cost.
- A good fit for many employees.
- A smart way to assist employees in saving for retirement.
Although the myRA program was only announced in January 2014, it has already helped many get on the right path to saving more for retirement.
Overall, the program has a variety of benefits for both employees and employers.