Managing your 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 user ID 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 is the personal information I provide used?
- How is the personal information I provide when opening and maintaining an account kept private and secure?
As a financial institution, Comerica Bank—which operates myRA for the U.S. Treasury—must comply with laws that protect the privacy of consumer financial information. Bank examiners review each financial institution’s compliance and internal controls and can take action to address violations or deficiencies.
- Does the U.S. Treasury have access to my account and my account information?
Aside from some exceptions specifically allowed by law, the U.S. Treasury does not and cannot have access to personal information associated with myRAs.
- 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 funds out of your myRA at any time. However, 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, open a private-sector Roth IRA account and work with your new provider to move your myRA balance to your new account.
- 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 money is taken 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 (or earnings) which may be taxable. Therefore, you may want to know how much interest you’ve earned to date. You can view your interest to date by signing into your account.
- When can I withdraw the interest in my account without tax and penalties?
Any interest earnings distributed or withdrawn 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 constitute 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 withholding, are there any restrictions to taking money out of my account?
If you live in a jurisdiction that requires 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?
Comerica Bank is the custodian of your myRA and sends annual information to you and the IRS on the money put into or distributed (taken out of) your myRA for a given tax year. Money put into your account and the total amount of savings in your myRA is reported on Form 5498 (IRA Contribution Information). Money distributed or taken out of your account is reported on Form 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.)
- What is a contribution?
A contribution refers to the money you put into your myRA (or another Roth IRA). It’s also known as funding your account, and is sometimes referred to as a deposit.
- Can I put money into a Roth IRA if I don’t have earned income?
Roth IRAs require 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 a Roth IRA if I pay my self 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.
- 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?
- 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
- Is there an annual earned income limit that can prevent me from putting money into a Roth IRA?
For 2017 you can put money into a Roth IRA 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. These limits do not apply to the transfer or rollover of an existing Roth IRA account balance to another Roth IRA. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira for more information.
- Is there a limit to the amount I can put into a Roth IRA 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. These limits do not apply to the transfer or rollover of an existing Roth IRA account balance to another Roth IRA. Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.
- 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 likely be required to pay a 6% excess contribution tax. This tax may be imposed each year that the excess contribution remains in your account.
You can avoid the excess contribution tax if you withdraw the excess contribution, along with the interest earnings from the excess, before the due date (including extensions) of your federal income tax return 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.
- Are savings in a myRA eligible for the Saver’s Tax Credit?
You may be able to take a tax credit for your myRA (or other Roth IRA) 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 or other Roth IRAs 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.
Examples of income that aren’t earned income include:
Visit myRA.gov/roth-ira to learn more.
Maturity, Transfers, and Rollovers
- What happens if my account reaches $15,000?
If your account balance reaches $15,000, the investment in your myRA account will mature and stop earning interest. At this time you will receive a notification to transfer or rollover your account balance to a private-sector Roth IRA, where you can continue to invest your savings and make additional contributions. However, because the myRA program is phasing-out, your account may be closed prior to reaching $15,000. You will need to transition your account balance to a private-sector Roth IRA provider to continue your savings journey.
- What does it mean to transfer or rollover a myRA?
A direct transfer and a 60-day 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.
Direct Transfer: This is a payment made from your myRA account directly to your new Roth IRA provider without the funds going to you first. The payment can be made either electronically or via a check made out to the financial institution that maintains your new account. You will need to contact your new Roth IRA provider to request this action. No taxes will be withheld on the amount you transfer.
60-Day Rollover: This is a payment from your myRA account that is paid directly to you. Then, within 60 days from receiving the funds, you deposit the full amount distributed from your myRA (the amount distributed to you plus any tax withholding) into your new Roth IRA. By completing a 60-day rollover, you can avoid adverse tax consequences on the distribution (ordinary income tax on earnings and a possible 10% additional tax). However, unless you elect out of federal tax withholding, federal tax withholding on earnings distributed from the Roth IRA distribution at a rate of 10% will apply. In some cases, this 60-day rollover deadline may be waived by the IRS. You can learn more about these rules at irs.gov/rollovers.
- 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.
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 multiple 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 multiple 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.
The myRA Program will close your myRA within 120 calendar days of learning of your passing, provided that it receives a death certificate during that time. If myRA receives mailing instructions from a beneficiary within those 120 calendar days, the Program will create an “inherited” myRA for the beneficiary. If myRA customer support does not receive mailing instructions from a beneficiary within 120 calendar days of learning of your passing, we 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, myRA customer support 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.
- Under what circumstances will my account be closed?
Your account may be closed if you do not transfer and close your account before the program is phased out. Prior to closing your myRA, myRA customer support 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.
myRA will also close your account if:
- Your account balance is $0.
- You pass away, after your beneficiaries or your estate provides instructions on how the balance should be distributed.
- myRA may close accounts for fraud, misuse, or other criminal activity, or as required by law.