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About myRA

Basics

What is myRA?

myRA (my Retirement Account) is a simple, safe, and affordable way to start saving for your future. Developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, myRA follows Roth IRA guidelines such as tax free earning and withdrawals under certain circumstances. It invests in a U.S. Treasury retirement security which is guaranteed to never lose dollar value. myRA costs nothing to open, has no fees, and has no minimum balance or contribution (deposit) requirements.

Who is myRA for?

myRA is designed for workers who don’t have access to retirement savings plans at their jobs, or who lack other savings options that are right for them.

What does it cost to open or hold an account?

It costs nothing to open an account and there are no fees or minimum balance requirements associated with the account. When you want to put money into your account, it can be as little as you want or can afford at the time.

How do I know the money I save with myRA is safe?

The money held in a myRA is invested in a U.S. Treasury retirement security that is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The money held in a myRA before being invested in this retirement security, or after some or all of the security has been redeemed, but prior to payment, is FDIC insured to the extent permitted by law.

How can a myRA help me if I can’t afford to set aside much money now?

myRA makes it easy and affordable to start saving for retirement. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better, even if you can only save a little bit at a time. There are no fees associated with a myRA and you’re not required to keep a minimum amount of money in the account. You choose how much and how often to save, and you can be confident that your money is safe because the security that the account invests in is issued by the U.S. Treasury and guaranteed to never lose dollar value. If unexpected expenses come up, you can withdraw your contributions at any time without paying tax and penalty.

Is a myRA a good option for me?

myRA could be a good option for you if you haven’t started saving for retirement, especially if you don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at your job.

Why should I open an account when I might find a higher return investment elsewhere?

myRA is a starter retirement savings account that prioritizes keeping your money safe while steadily earning interest, rather than providing an investment that has some risks but also the potential for higher returns. A myRA allows you to safely build up your savings before you transition to a private sector investment, where you can continue to grow your savings through an investment option that may have different risk-return characteristics.

How do I get started with myRA?

You can get started with myRA with a few simple steps:

  • Open your account. From any page on myRA.gov, click the green “Sign Up” button in the upper right corner and follow the steps to create an account. You may also open an account by calling myRA customer support.
  • Put money into your account. Use one of several funding options (i.e., direct deposit, tax refund, or ACH) provided to you during the account enrollment process to start saving in your account.
  • Watch your savings grow. Access online information about your myRA by clicking the “My Account” link at the top right of the myRA.gov home page or set up automated email and text notifications to track your savings.

When you open your myRA, you’ll receive a confirmation by email and a welcome packet by mail.

What is a Roth IRA?

A Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA) is a retirement account with a number of benefits. It:

  • Allows for tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of your contributions at any time, while interest earnings can be withdrawn without tax and penalties under certain conditions.
  • Provides tax-favored treatment at the time of payout rather than at the time of contribution, which is generally a good fit for savers who are currently in a low tax bracket but may have higher income in the future.
  • Makes it easy for savers to transfer or roll over their savings tax-free to Roth IRAs managed by private sector account providers.

Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.

How does myRA differ from other Roth IRAs?

Unlike many other Roth IRAs, myRA has features designed to make it a starter retirement savings account.

  • Each myRA is invested in a U.S. Treasury retirement security that is backed by the U.S. Government and is guaranteed to never lose dollar value.
  • Money in a myRA will earn interest until the account reaches $15,000, or 30 years from the date of the first contribution, whichever comes first. The account balance is then to be transferred to a private-sector Roth IRA, where you can continue to invest your savings and make additional contributions. (You can also transfer or roll over your myRA to a private-sector Roth IRA of your choice at any time, as with any Roth IRA.)
How much and how long can I save with a myRA?

Money in a myRA continues to earn interest until either:

  • The account reaches $15,000; or
  • 30 years passes after the day you first put money into the account.

At that point, the balance is to be transferred to a private-sector Roth IRA, where you can continue to invest your savings and make additional contributions. You can also transfer or roll over a myRA to a private-sector Roth IRA of your choice at any time.

The above limits are the overall limits on the investment. There is also an annual IRA contribution limit. Depending on your income, for the 2017 tax year you can contribute up to:

  • $5,500 if you’ll be under 50 years of age at the end of the year; or
  • $6,500 if you’ll be 50 years of age or older at the end of the year.

This is the amount you can put in each year (the annual contribution limit) for all your Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs combined—not just your myRA—and may change in future years. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.

Why does an account have a maximum balance limit of $15,000 and a term of 30 years?

myRA is a starter retirement account. When the total value of the investment reaches $15,000 (including interest accrual) or 30 years passes from the date you first put money into the account—whichever comes first—the account will stop earning interest and the balance should be transferred or rolled over to a private sector Roth IRA.

This allows you to safely accumulate savings in your myRA before you transition your savings to an account managed by a private sector provider. Individuals with $15,000 in savings typically have a larger variety of private sector investment options and opportunities to continue growing their savings than individuals who are just beginning to save.

I have a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement savings plan; should I use myRA instead?

myRA isn’t meant to replace employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. If you’re eligible for a retirement savings plan through your job, such as a 401(k) plan, it might include special incentives for saving, such as employer matching contributions. You can use myRA in addition to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, though generally you should strongly consider using an employer-sponsored plan before using myRA.

What happens if my employer adds a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement savings account after I open a myRA?

myRA isn’t meant to replace employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. If your employer begins offering such a plan, you should strongly consider it as it may provide benefits that are not available through myRA, such as employer matching contributions. However, if you begin to use it, you won’t be required to close your myRA, even if you stop putting money into your myRA.

What happens to my account if I change jobs?

Your myRA isn’t linked to a specific job or employer, so it stays with you when you move to a new job. If you funded your account by direct deposit from your former employer’s paycheck and want to continue to do so with your new employer, you’ll need to complete a new direct deposit authorization form with your new employer. This form is available on myRA.gov, though your employer may ask you to use their own form or electronic process instead.

Is myRA being offered because the government is running out of money?

The intent of myRA is to make it easier for working individuals in America to start saving for retirement, especially for individuals who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through their job. It is not being offered under the mistaken presumption that the government is running out of money.

Where can I find the regulation that authorizes Treasury to issue the retirement security for myRAs?

The regulation governing the U.S. Treasury retirement security used in myRA is found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 31 CFR Part 347 and can be accessed at gpo.gov. Updates to this regulation are published in the Federal Register before being incorporated into the CFR. You can check for Federal Register updates through gpo.gov as well.

Where can I find the terms and conditions governing myRAs?

Please review the Master Terms of myRA Custodial Account or by signing into your account.

Who manages and administers the accounts?

Currently, Comerica Bank serves as the custodian for all myRAs. For myRA, Comerica Bank is a financial agent of the federal government and in that capacity performs specific duties and responsibilities on behalf of the U.S. Treasury, including account management and administration.

How do I contact myRA customer support?

You can call myRA customer support at the following numbers:

855-406-6972

855-408-6972 (TTY/TDD)

1-414-365-9616 (International)

You can also reach us at myRA@treasury.gov. In addition, if you have a myRA account, you can send secure email to us by using the “Contact Us” link that appears at the bottom of all pages after you sign into your account.

Investment and Interest

How is the money I put in a myRA invested?

The money you put into your myRA is invested in a U.S. Treasury retirement security that safely earns interest at the same variable rate as investments in the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund) of the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. The G Fund is a retirement option offered to federal employees, members of the uniformed services, and their beneficiaries.

Can I choose to invest the money I put in a myRA in another investment fund or in the stock market?

Each myRA invests solely in a U.S. Treasury retirement security that is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government and which carries no risk of losing money. myRA is designed to be a starter account and places priority on steadily earning interest while keeping savings safe, so only this single investment option is available with myRA.

If you have saved with myRA but want to invest in another investment, you can transfer or roll over the funds from your myRA account to a private-sector Roth IRA that offers other investments at any time. For more information, see the FAQ section on Managing the Account, particularly the Maturity, Transfers, and Rollovers topic in that section.

What is the interest rate for a myRA?

myRA earns interest at the same variable, monthly rate as investments in the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund) of the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. More information, including current and historical interest rates, can be found on the Thrift Savings Plan site at tsp.gov.

When does the interest rate change for my account?

The interest rate for your myRA can change at the beginning of each month. The current rate is displayed at myRA.gov/how-it-works. Information on the current and historical interest rates can also be found on the Thrift Savings Plan site at tsp.gov in the G Fund: Government Securities Investment Fund section.

Is the interest rate the same for all myRAs regardless of when they were opened?

The interest rate for myRA applies to every myRA, regardless of when each account was opened. This is different (and simpler!) than some types of U.S. Treasury saving bond investments in which the current interest rate can vary depending on when the saving bond was purchased.

How is the interest earned and reinvested in my account?

The interest your myRA earns is added to your account and compounded daily. This means that any interest earned is added to the money you’ve contributed (the principal), so the added interest also earns interest.

Last updated 07/01/2017