A New Way to Save for Retirement

Millions of working Americans have no retirement savings and no plans to save, according to the Federal Reserve Board Survey of Household and Economic Decisionmaking of 2014Off-site link. Even among individuals who are saving, fewer than half are confident in their ability to make the right retirement investment decisions. Failing to save for retirement or beginning to save too late can have distressing effects on a household's financial health. This can be exacerbated for economically vulnerable groups, which have already been severely affected by the Great Recession.

The my Retirement Account, or myRA, is a U.S. Treasury Department–sponsored savings account that provides a "simple, safe, and affordable" option for the millions of Americans who have limited options to save for retirement. The account addresses some of the common barriers to obtaining a retirement savings account, which include lacking money to meet the minimum requirement to open an account and pay fees, having no access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and needing to choose from complicated investment options, to name a few obstacles.

A myRA account requires no start-up cost, no maintenance fees, and no minimum contribution requirement, allowing savers to contribute an amount that best fits their budget. The account is also relatively risk-free, since one's investment is backed by the U.S. Treasury Department. LearnOff-site link more about myRA.

In order to raise awareness of the program, the Treasury Department will hold a series of meetings with organizations and employers in a small set of cities around the country. As part of this initiative, the Atlanta Fed will host a roundtable session to share information about the myRA program on August 10. For more information about this meeting, contact Kyan Bishop, CED director.