Managing the Account
- How do I sign into my account?
You can sign into your account by visiting myRA.gov and selecting “My Account.” You’re asked to set up your account access—namely, a user ID and password—when you open your myRA. If you’ve opened an account but haven’t set up your account access, you can do so after selecting “My Account.”
- What do I do if I forget my user ID?
If you forget your user ID, go to myRA.gov and select “My Account.” On the page that follows, select the “Forgot your user ID?” link under the text entry box to recover your user ID.
- What do I do if I forget my password?
If you forget your password, go to myRA.gov and select “My Account.” On the page that follows, enter your username and select “Sign In.” You’ll then be presented with a page that asks for your password. Select the “Forgot your password?” link under the text entry box to recover your password.
- How do I add or delete an external funding account?
You can set this up by signing into your myRA and going to the Manage external accounts section under the Contribute or Withdraw menu. For detailed instructions, go to myRA.gov/save/bank-account.
- What is a contribution?
A contribution refers to the money you put into your myRA. It’s also known as funding your account, and is sometimes referred to as a deposit.
- How do I put money into (contribute to) my account?
You can put money into your myRA using these options:
- From your checking or savings account
- From your paycheck
- From your tax refund
- How do I put money into my account from my checking or savings account?
You can set up recurring or one-time contributions to your myRA from your personal checking or savings account at a U.S. bank or credit union. You can set this up when you open your myRA, or at any time after that by signing into your account. You can also review and change this setup by signing into your myRA. Contributing from a checking or savings account for the first time requires that we verify the account, which may take up to three business days. Once we’ve verified your checking or savings account, you can use it to put money into your myRA.
- How do I put money into my account from my paycheck?
If your employer uses direct deposit, you can set up recurring contributions to your myRA from your paycheck. You can set this up after you’ve enrolled and received your myRA account and routing numbers. Contributing from your paycheck typically requires that you give your employer a completed direct deposit authorization form. A version of this form can be found at myRA.gov/files/myra-direct-deposit-form.pdf, though some employers may ask you to use their own form or an electronic process instead. It may take a couple pay periods before you see the first contribution from your paycheck appear in your myRA, but once it begins it’ll happen automatically each pay period after that.
- How do I put money into my account from my tax refund?
You can direct some or all of your tax refund into your myRA after you’ve enrolled and received your myRA account and routing numbers. In the refund section of your tax return, simply mark the “Savings” box, provide your myRA account and routing numbers, and list how much of your tax refund you want to put into your myRA.
- How do I setup, edit, or delete a recurring contribution?
You can setup, edit or delete a recurring contribution by signing into your myRA and going to the Make a recurring contribution section under the Contribute or Withdraw menu. For detailed instructions, go to myRA.gov/save/bank-account.
- Am I able to stop the amount I’m putting into my account and start funding it again at another time?
You can start, change, or stop putting money into your account whenever you want. The money you’ve already saved in your myRA will continue to earn interest until your account reaches the maximum account balance of $15,000, or 30 years from the date you first put money into your account (whichever comes first). You can review and change recurring contributions from your checking or savings account by signing into your myRA. You can stop direct deposits from your paycheck through your employer by using whatever process your employer uses to do this.
- I’m putting money into my account from my current paycheck; what do I need to do if I move to a new job?
Your myRA isn’t linked to your employer, so it stays with you when you move to a new job. If you’re putting money into your account by direct deposit from your paycheck and want to continue to do so with the new employer, you’ll need to complete a new direct deposit authorization form with the employer. This form is available at myRA.gov/files/myra-direct-deposit-form.pdf, though your employer may ask you to use their own form or electronic process instead.
- I have multiple employers; can I set up deductions from each paycheck?
If you have multiple employers, you can put money into your myRA from each paycheck you receive. You can choose different contribution amounts for each job you have. You’ll need to complete a direct deposit authorization form with each employer. A version of this form can be found at myRA.gov/files/myra-direct-deposit-form.pdf, though your employers may ask you to use their own form or electronic process instead.
- Can I put money into a myRA if I don’t have earned income?
myRA, like other IRAs, requires that you (or your spouse, if married filing jointly) have “earned income” (as defined by the IRS) to be eligible to contribute. You must have at least as much earned income as you put into the account.
- Can I put money into an account if I pay myself a salary as a small-business owner or self-employed individual?
Self-employment income qualifies as earned income for purposes of contributing to a Roth IRA. As long as you meet all earned income requirements, you may put money into a myRA.
- What are examples of earned income?
Examples of earned income include:
- Wages and salaries
- Self-employment income
- Alimony and separate maintenance
- Nontaxable combat pay
- What are examples of income that aren’t earned income?
Examples of income that aren’t earned income include:
- Earnings and profits from property
- Interest and dividend income
- Pension or annuity income
- Deferred compensation
- Income from certain partnerships
- Any amounts you exclude from income
Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.
- Is there an annual earned income limit that can prevent me from putting money into my account?
As with other Roth IRAs, for 2017 you can put money into your myRA if you have annual earned income below:
- $133,000 if single, head of household, or married filing separately; or
- $196,000 if married filing jointly.
Annual earned income limits may change in future years. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira for more information.
- Is there a limit to the amount I can put into my account each year?
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 contribute each year to 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.
- Can I put money into my account if I have another IRA?
You can put money into your myRA even if you have another IRA, as long as the total of your contributions to all of your IRAs (including your myRA) is below the annual IRA contribution limit.
- What happens if I put more money into my account than the annual IRA limit?
If you contribute above the annual IRA limit, which applies to all your Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs combined, not just your myRA, you’ll be required to pay a 6% excess contribution tax. This tax may be imposed each year that the excess contribution remains in your myRA.
You can avoid the excess contribution tax as long as you call myRA customer support and have them reverse the excess contribution, along with the interest earnings from the excess, before the tax filing due date (including extensions) for the tax year of the excess contribution. However, the interest earnings from the excess contribution will be treated as gross income for the tax year in which the excess contribution was made.
- How do I make a prior-year contribution to my account?
The general assumption is that when you put money into your account, that contribution is intended for the year that it’s made. However, if you want a contribution to be credited to the previous tax year, you can do so by calling myRA customer support. As is the case for all Roth IRAs, the deadline for making prior-year contributions to your myRA is your income tax filing deadline (without extension), which is in mid-April.
- Are savings in a myRA eligible for the Saver’s Tax Credit?
You may be able to take a tax credit for your myRA contributions if you meet certain eligibility requirements. Your earnings must be below certain levels you may be eligible to claim the Saver’s Tax Credit. For 2017, those levels are:
- $31,000 for single filers
- $46,500 for head of household filers
- $62,000 for married couples filing jointly
You must also be age 18 or older, not a full-time student, and not be claimed as a dependent on another tax return to be eligible. The amount of the tax credit varies depending on your earnings and the amount of your contributions. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.
- Will saving in a myRA affect my state or federal public assistance eligibility or benefits?
Your myRA savings would count as an asset for the purpose of determining whether you qualify for many state or federal assistance programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Those programs, and others, limit the amounts of savings and other financial assets individuals may hold, including savings held in myRA and other retirement accounts. On the other hand, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) doesn’t limit amounts participants hold in retirement accounts. Contact your benefits program office for more information.
- What is a withdrawal?
A withdrawal refers to the money you take out of your myRA. It is also known as a distribution.
- Can I take money out of (withdraw from) my account if I need to?
You can take your contributions out of your myRA without taxes or penalties at any time, but interest earned can only be taken out of your account without tax and penalties under certain conditions. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more. If you take money out of your account, you can deposit it into your personal checking or savings account or you can have a check mailed to you. If you want to transfer or roll over account funds to a private-sector Roth IRA, contact myRA customer support to get started.
- How do I take money out of my account?
You may take money out of your account by signing into your account or by calling myRA customer support. You can deposit the money you take out into your personal checking or savings account or you can have a check mailed to you. Depositing money into your checking or savings account for the first time requires that we verify the account to make sure the deposit goes to the right place, and this may take up to three business days. Once we’ve verified your checking or savings account, you can use it to receive money from your myRA.
- How do I avoid accidentally withdrawing interest from my account?
When you take money out of your myRA, your contributions will automatically come out before your earnings (interest). This applies across all Roth IRAs you may own and helps minimize the potential for taxes and penalties. If you take out more than the amount of your contributions, then you’ll begin taking out interest. You may have additional options if you have more than one Roth IRA.
Therefore, you should check how much interest you’ve earned to date and make sure that your withdrawals don’t cause your account balance to drop below this amount. You can view your interest to date by signing into your account.
- Am I required to take money out of my account once I reach a certain age?
There are no withdrawal requirements based on your age. However, once your account reaches the $15,000 maximum balance or its 30-year term, the balance in your account will stop earning interest, so to ensure it keeps growing for your retirement you should transfer or roll over your savings to a private sector Roth IRA.
- When can I withdraw the interest in my account without tax and penalties?
Any interest earnings you withdraw will be subject to federal income tax unless it is a “qualified distribution.” A distribution (withdrawal) is qualified if it’s made at least five years after the account owner’s first contribution to the Roth IRA (counting from January 1 of the year of the first contribution), and the distribution is made:
- After the owner is age 59½;
- For a qualified first-time home purchase (up to $10,000 lifetime limit);
- After the owner is disabled; or
- To a beneficiary after the owner’s death or disability.
If a distribution isn’t qualified, any earnings in the Roth IRA are subject to federal income tax. In addition to any federal income tax that would apply, if the owner is under age 59½, a 10% additional income tax on any earnings will apply unless an exception is available, including exceptions for withdrawals:
- Due to disability or after death;
- Paid at least annually in equal or close to equal amounts over your life or life expectancy (or the lives or joint life expectancy of you and your beneficiary);
- For qualified higher education expenses;
- For health insurance premiums after the owner has received unemployment compensation for 12 consecutive weeks;
- For a qualified first-time home purchase (up to $10,000 lifetime limit);
- Made directly to the government to satisfy a federal tax levy;
- Up to the amount of deductible medical expenses; or
- That constitutes a qualified reservist distribution, for a member of a reserve component called to duty for more than 179 days.
Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.
- If I live in a jurisdiction that requires tax withholding, are there any restrictions to taking money out of my account?
If you live in a jurisdiction that requires tax withholding, you can’t withdraw funds online. We'll determine your withholding status for you. If withholding is required, when you go online to take money out of your account you’ll receive an informational message explaining that you must contact myRA customer support to process the withdrawal.
- Do I need to report interest earned from my account on my federal income tax return?
You don’t have to report the money you put into your myRA or the interest earned until you take the money out. Comerica Bank is the custodian of your myRA and sends an annual report to you and the IRS on the money you put into your myRA for a given tax year and the total amount of savings in your myRA. This information is reported on Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information.
- Is my money exempt from the Treasury Offset Program if I take it out of my account?
The Treasury Offset Program offsets certain payments made by federal and state agencies to collect certain delinquent debts. It doesn’t affect money held by you in myRA and it won’t impact your money if you take funds out of your account.
Maturity, Transfers, and Rollovers
- What happens when my account reaches its maximum balance of $15,000 or its term of 30 years?
When your myRA reaches either its maximum balance of $15,000 or its term of 30 years, the retirement security that your account is invested in will mature and stop earning interest. You’ll be notified so that you can transfer or roll over the balance in your account into a private sector Roth IRA, where you can continue to invest and grow your savings.
- What does it mean to transfer or roll over a myRA?
A transfer and a rollover are methods by which you can move your myRA balance to a private sector Roth IRA. You can choose to transfer or roll over your account balance at any time during the life of your myRA.
If you don’t transfer or roll over your account yourself, once it reaches its maximum balance of $15,000 or its 30-year term, your account balance should be transferred automatically into a private sector Roth IRA. You’ll be notified in advance of your myRA approaching one of the account limits, so that you have the opportunity to provide instructions for the transfer of the account balance to your private sector Roth IRA provider.
- Can I transfer or roll over my account into my employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), or into a traditional IRA?
As is the case with all Roth IRAs, your myRA can’t be transferred or rolled over into your employer-sponsored retirement plan or a traditional IRA. If you want to transfer or roll over your account, you can do so only into another Roth IRA. Contact myRA customer support to do so.
- Does myRA have to reach its maximum balance of $15,000 or its term of 30 years before I can transfer or roll it over to the private sector?
You can transfer or roll over your myRA into a private sector Roth IRA of your choice at any time. Contact myRA customer support to do so.
- How does my account help me save if I eventually have to transfer or roll over my savings to the private sector?
myRA is a starter account for long-term retirement savings. As you accumulate savings in your myRA, you’ll be in a better position to eventually transition to private sector providers, where you have other investment options and opportunities to continue growing your savings.
- Once I transfer my account’s assets to the private sector and close the account, can I open another myRA?
You’re limited to opening one myRA. A myRA is a starter retirement savings account designed to help you eventually transition to a private sector Roth IRA, where you have other investment options and opportunities to continue growing your savings.
- Can I roll over a private retirement account into my account?
You can’t roll over a private retirement account into a myRA. A myRA is intended to be a starter retirement savings account. It allows you to safely build up savings before you transition to a private sector Roth IRA, where you can continue to grow your savings with investment options that have different risk-return characteristics. myRA isn’t intended as a replacement for existing retirement savings options such as private retirement accounts or employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Beneficiaries, Inheritance, and Closure
- What is a primary beneficiary?
A primary beneficiary is a person (including a minor) who would inherit your myRA. You must name at least one primary beneficiary when you open an account. You also have the option of naming up to 3 primary beneficiaries and designating what percentage of your account value each person would receive. In some states, your spouse must sign a waiver if you want to name someone other than your spouse as a primary beneficiary.
- What is a contingent beneficiary?
A contingent beneficiary is a person (including a minor) who would inherit your myRA if none of your primary beneficiaries survive you. The naming of a contingent beneficiary is optional. You also have the option of naming up to 3 contingent beneficiaries and designating what percentage of your account value each person would receive.
- How do I add, change, or remove beneficiaries after creating my account?
To add, change, or remove beneficiaries after you’ve created your account, contact myRA customer support.
- What happens with my account in the event of my passing?
Upon your passing, the named myRA beneficiaries who would inherit the account will need to contact myRA customer service and provide their mailing information so that necessary forms can be sent to them. A death certificate is also required. This information must come from a beneficiary; it can come from your estate only if there are no living beneficiaries.
Comerica Bank (which operates myRA for the U.S. Treasury) will close your myRA within 120 calendar days of learning of your passing, provided that it receives a death certificate during that time. If Comerica Bank receives mailing instructions from a beneficiary within those 120 calendar days, Comerica Bank will create an “inherited” myRA for the beneficiary. If Comerica Bank does not receive mailing instructions from a beneficiary within 120 calendar days of learning of your passing, Comerica Bank will send a check to your estate for that beneficiary’s portion of your account.
- Will my beneficiary have to take money out of the account they inherit?
Generally, a beneficiary who takes ownership of an inherited myRA has five years to take the money out of the account. If money is still in the inherited myRA after five years, Comerica Bank will mail a check to that individual. There are some additional options available if the beneficiary is your spouse. Contact myRA customer support for more information.
- Will my beneficiary be able to put money into the account they inherit?
Money can’t be placed into an inherited myRA.
- How do I close my account?
You can close your myRA at any time by calling myRA customer support. Note that you’re limited to opening one myRA, so you won’t be able to open a new myRA once your original account has been closed. If you take out all the money from your account and don’t ask to close it, it will remain open, though we reserve the right to close unfunded accounts.
- Under what circumstances will my account be closed automatically?
Comerica Bank (which operates myRA for the U.S. Treasury) will automatically close your myRA once it the balance reaches $15,000 or it reaches its 30-year term. Prior to closing your myRA, Comerica Bank will contact you so that you have the opportunity to provide instructions for the transfer of the account balance to a private sector Roth IRA.
Comerica Bank also will close your account if:
- You transfer your myRA’s entire balance to another Roth IRA.
- You pass away, after your beneficiaries or your estate provides instructions on how the balance should be distributed.
Comerica Bank also may close accounts for fraud, misuse, or other criminal activity, or as required by law.