New MyRA Retirement Savings Program,
Opportunity Agenda Signed by President Obama
Presidential notes that Social
Security often is not enough but often no solutions to make it better -
By Tucker Sutherland,
Jan. 30, 2014 – President Obama
yesterday signed a presidential memorandum to begin his “opportunity
agenda, including MyRA, that he calls a “new type of savings bond,” that
will help more Americans save for their retirement through automatic
payroll deductions. He told workers at U.S.
Steel this is the fourth part of the opportunity
agenda he introduced the night before in the State of the Union, which
is aimed at “making hard work pay off for every single American.” He
noted that Social Security is often not enough for a secure retirement.
For senior citizens already retired, the President
offered no solutions to make Social Security more secure or beneficial
in his State of the Union. The program was only mentioned as a reason
for the new MyRA program, with the President saying it is "often not
enough on its own." He added, "A Social Security check
is critical, but oftentimes that monthly check, that's not enough."
Emphasizing that he can establish
the MyRA program without Congressional legislation, he said it will
encourage Americans to build a nest egg.
“Workers can contribute through
automatic deductions in their paychecks, just like those of you who have
an employer-sponsored pension fund can do. They can keep the same
account even if they change jobs, so they can carry it over. It’s
safe. These account balances will never go down in value. They’re
backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
And it’s affordable. So you can open an account with as little as $25.
You can contribute as little as $5 at a time, “the President said.
“But what that means is for those
of you who don't have a 401(k) on the job, don't have a pension on the
job, don't have a mechanism to start saving - especially younger workers
- you can get started now. And in an emergency, you can withdraw
contributions without paying a penalty. So it's a pretty good deal.”
“And what I'm hoping is that
working Americans will take a look, because I want more people to have
the chance to save for retirement through their hard work. And this is
just one step that we can take to help more people do that.”
He also added that some of the
other three parts of the plan “opportunity agenda… to speed up economic
growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity
into the middle class” Will require Congressional action.
The other three steps he explained
“Number one, more new jobs: jobs
in American manufacturing, jobs in American energy, jobs in American
innovation and technology.
“Number two, we've got to train
more Americans with the skills that we need to fill those jobs.
“Number three, we've got to
guarantee every child in America a world-class education.
“And number four, we've got to make
sure hard work pays off.”
He added, “I’m hoping that Congress
goes along with this, but I'm not going to wait for Congress. I could
do more with Congress, but I'm not going to not do anything without
Congress, not when it’s about the basic security and dignity of American
He explained that “a retirement
used to be a three-legged stool, used to have a pension. Then you had
your Social Security. Then you had your own private savings. And you
put that all together, and you could retire. But today, most workers
don’t have a pension in America. Just half work for an employer that
offers any kind of retirement plan. A Social Security check is
critical, but oftentimes that monthly check, that's not enough. And
while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that
doesn’t help somebody if you don't have a 401(k).”
“So here's what I'm going to do
today. This is what this little table is set up for. I'm going to sign
a presidential memorandum that directs the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack
Lew, to create a new way for working Americans to start their own
retirement savings. And as soon as I sign this, Jack Lew will get the
memo. He is right here. So I'm going to be able to just -- here,
here's your memo.”
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