Written by Hal M. Bundrick
NEW YORK (MainStreet) By executive order, President Barack Obama is directing the Treasury Department to launch a new retirement savings initiative. The plan, announced during the State of the Union address, took many financial advisors by surprise. "While the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn't help folks who don't have 401(k)s," Obama said. His answer: a retirement account called "MyRA."
A White House statement described the plan as "a simple, safe and affordable 'starter' retirement savings account, offered through a Roth IRA account and, like savings bonds, backed by the U.S. government."
"It's a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg," Obama explained. "MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in."
A sampling of financial advisor reaction to the Obama's retirement savings proposal ranged from mild endorsement to raucous rejection.
"I think the President is on the right track with the idea of offering workers whose employer don't offer a retirement plans another option," Curtis Chambers, a financial planner in Clearwater, Fla. told MainStreet. "For years I have noticed one of the absolute best things that can happen to someone's financial situation is to have access to a 401(k) plan from an early age. Workers who do not have access to a 401(k) plan are missing out. So while I may not agree with all the details of the new proposals --such as the use of a government retirement bond as the initial savings vehicle -- I think this is a great idea being proposed by President Obama that could help many American workers."