Thursday, January 30, 2014

Obama pitches retirement savings options

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | January 29, 2014 | Mike Wereschagin 

".......... After the tour and speech, he signed an executive order directing Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to establish the savings bonds. Named and modeled after existing Individual Retirement Accounts or IRAs, the bonds offer tax benefits that regular savings accounts do not, don't lose value and can be withdrawn tax-free any time.
“It's safe. These balances will never go down in value,” Obama said.
Lew, whose agency will set up the bonds, accompanied the president, whose directive is one in a series of executive orders Obama said he's using to circumvent a divided Congress that's on pace to be the least productive in decades.
Obama said he hoped Congress would adjust the tax code to provide more incentives for people to save for retirement, but “I'm not going to wait for Congress.”
..........The MyRA offers an early example of Obama's limits. He wants to revamp the tax laws to give middle-class workers more motivation to invest, but he needs Congress to act on that.
The program Obama is establishing on his own doesn't offer the retirement security he desires, said Bob Fragasso, founder and CEO of Downtown firm Fragasso Financial Advisors.
“People will not retire successfully earning four, five, six percent interest,” he said.
MyRA could make a useful piece of a person's retirement plan, but if workers rely too heavily on the low-interest growth, it could undermine Obama's goal of offering more people a comfortable retirement, Fragasso said.
“Allowing people a false sense of security by peddling MyRAs does them a disservice,” Fragasso said.
Preparing for retirement security should begin in grade school, he said.....
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