Crowley, Ellison Blast Trump Administration’s Decision to End Successful Program that Helps Americans Save for Retirement

July 28, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) issued the following statement after the Treasury Department said it will end myRA (my Retirement Account), a program established by the Obama Administration to help American workers save for retirement:

“Secretary Mnuchin’s decision to end the myRA program is just the latest in a series of stunning attacks by the Trump administration to dismantle critical retirement security lifelines that affect millions of workers. Make no mistake, America is in the midst of a very real and serious savings and retirement crisis,” said Congressman Crowley. “Every American deserves the opportunity to save for their future and achieve much-needed financial security. The myRA program empowers workers to save their own money, in their own account, for their own retirement. This misguided decision hurts hardworking families and will take us back to the days when workers faced the often-impossible challenge of saving for their golden years.

“Americans deserve a secure retirement, yet half of workers do not have access to a retirement plan at work,” said Congressman Ellison. “That is why the federal government should fill a gap in the market and provide a free accessible retirement plan that enables people to start investing. The myRA program has been a success, which is why we need the Administration to continue it.”

One out of every two Americans going to work today does not have access to a retirement plan at work and nearly two-thirds of workers earning less than $35,000 a year are not saving any money for retirement.

Crowley and Ellison are the authors of the Making Your Retirement Accessible Act (myRA Act), legislation that would codify into law the myRA program. Established in 2014 by the Obama Administration, the myRA program addresses key barriers to saving, including the inability to meet minimum contributions, concerns about fees and fluctuations in the market, worry over not being able to tap into funds in an emergency, and not having access to an employer-sponsored savings plan. The program allows a worker to open an account with as little as $1, and gives them the ability to make automatic payments every pay period. The funds invested go solely into U.S. savings bonds, ensuring these accounts remain stable, not at risk in the market. Further, the accounts do not have any associated maintenance charges or fees, which means every dollar that is invested will be returned, plus interest, to the account holder.

Crowley first called for making the myRA program permanent in his Building Better Savings, Building Brighter Futures plan to address the savings and retirement security crisis in the United States.