The MyRA Propaganda Begins: "A Start To A Secure Retirement" Promises Treasury Secretary

Tyler Durden's picture

You didn't think the US could at first slowly, and then all of a sudden, expropriate retirement accounts and invest them in the "no risk, guaranteed return" MyRA Ponzi scheme introduced by Obama during the State of the Union address without lots of behavior-modifying indoctrination in the "friendly press" first now did you? Sure enough, here is the first major propaganda salvo, coming from none other than the US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, which will be published tomorrow across the McClatchy media empire.

* * *

Just out from the US Treasury Department, "In an op-ed to be published in the January 31, 2014 editions of McClatchy Newspapers, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew discusses myRA -  a simple, safe and affordable starter savings account to help low and moderate-income Americans begin building towards a more secure financial future."

myRA: A start to a secure retirement

Over the past five years, our country has accomplished a number of big things.  The economy has grown stronger after being shaken to the core by the worst recession in our lifetimes.  Our businesses have created more than 8 million jobs.  The financial system is more resilient, with better protections for consumers and investors.  And investments in domestic energy production have helped put the promise of American energy independence in sight. 

In the meantime, health care costs have grown at their slowest rates in years while millions of families now have access to affordable health care coverage so they are not one hospital visit away from falling into financial ruin.  Our auto industry is surging even as home values are rebounding.  And the federal deficit has been cut by more than half.

So we have made clear progress.  But we all understand that we are not where we want to be yet.  Too many Americans cannot find a job.  Too many Americans who do have a job are not getting paid enough to support their families and make ends meet.  And too many Americans do not have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. 

As President Barack Obama made clear in his State of the Union address, it is time to focus on restoring opportunity for all.  That means helping to make sure more Americans can take part in our growing economy and build some economic security for the long term.  To get that done, we are putting forward real, concrete solutions to our most pressing problems—from college affordability and job training to fair wages and a stable retirement. 

Now, when it comes to retirement, you would think that the vast majority of working Americans would be putting some money away for their future.  But the truth is, many are not.  For millions of working men and women, it is not easy to save for the long haul.  Many employers do not offer a retirement plan.  And setting up a retirement account and maintaining it can often be too difficult, expensive and time-consuming. 

The statistics paint a stark picture.  Only about half of all workers have access to an employer-based retirement plan, such as a 401(k).  And left on their own, few workers save.  It is estimated that fewer than one out of 10 eligible workers actually contribute to an IRA.

Still, every American deserves the chance to build a secure retirement.  That is why the Obama administration has designed a new way for working Americans to start saving for the future.  This program, which will begin later this year, is called myRA or My Retirement Account. 

This account is designed to help low- and middle-income workers, who are too often overlooked or ignored, begin saving for retirement.  We are talking about the waitress who is holding down two part-time jobs to support her kids; the recent graduate who landed a job but is grappling with student loans; the janitor who has never been given the chance to invest in a retirement account.

Here is how myRA, which is simple, safe and affordable, will work.

You will be able to start saving with an initial deposit of as little as $25 and contribute as little as $5 each payday.  If an employer chooses to participate, contributions are made through automatic payroll deductions, making them hassle-free. 

There are no fees—100% of any contribution goes into the account and is invested in a Treasury securityThat means it will be backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, will earn the same interest rate that is available to federal employees for their retirement savings, and the balance will never go down.

Finally, myRA is not tied to any one employer—it belongs to the worker, not the workplace.  In other words, the account is portable and can be easily rolled into a Roth IRA.  And if myRA savers ever need to, they can withdraw their contributions tax-free, at any time.

MyRA is a specific way in which we can help hardworking Americans save for the future.  But there are other things we can do.  In particular, the President has consistently called on Congress to help tens of millions of middle class Americans save for the future by opening up access to automatic IRAs in the workplace. 

And we will continue to look for ways to help increase economic security, strengthen the middle class, and provide more ladders of opportunity into the middle class.  That is how we will help make sure every American can take part in this recovery.  And that is how we will help usher in a stronger, more prosperous future for our country.

Jacob J. Lew is the secretary of the Treasury.

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Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Scam, nothing more. You die....FED keeps the $

unplugged's picture

yep - its just "voluntary" social security - you don't get to pass that on when you die

ArkansasAngie's picture

Until Obama has his retirement in there I don't want to hear a blessed thing.

Rip off artists

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Please can anyone explain to me how is MyRA different from a Ponzi scheme?

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"Please can anyone explain to me how is MyRA different from a Ponzi scheme?"

Easy- when an individual does this its a ponzi scheme he's arrested and goes to jail. When the govt does it, it's a "retirement account plan" and its all good!

Skateboarder's picture

Actually, the phrase "A Start To A Secure Retirement" holds water. By retirement, they mean your downfall.

CH1's picture

I bet this is almost as successful as Obamacare!

Steve in Greensboro's picture

Obamacare: health insurance for the stupid.  MyRA: investment for the stupid.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



And that is how we will help usher in a stronger, more prosperous future for our country.

What country is that, Jacob?

Joe Davola's picture

And investments in domestic energy production have helped put the promise of American energy independence in sight.

After all the cock-blocking they've done with env regs and stalled approvals, this is shameless.


Edit (after reading the first 2 paragraphs):  WTF alternate reality do these people live in?

Blano's picture

Re: the alternate reality, my sentiments exactly below.

Joe Davola's picture

Apparently the Cabinet now meets in the Choom Room.

smlbizman's picture

to hh.......let me know how francis is certainly will meet him with this one....

redpill's picture

With no withdrawal penalty how is this any different than a savings account apart from the fact they force you to buy Treasuries with it?  Do they issue you a 1099 on any capital gain?  Fuckin feds.

tmosley's picture

"And if myRA savers ever need to, they can withdraw their contributions tax-free, at any time."

Wait, wait, are these contributions pre tax or after taxes?  Can I just contribute my whole paycheck, then withdraw it all and owe no taxes?

zaphod's picture

Reading this trip is like reading something from the ministry of truth. 

NoDebt's picture

Remember the read the fine print, guys.  

The "withdrawal at any time without paying taxes" sounds like they're saying "... but with penalties".  You can't withdrawal funds from a Roth IRA prior to 59-1/2 without penalties.  Why else would they allow you to roll it into a Roth IRA unless there were penalties for saying "gimme the cash"?

And I'll almost guarantee it will become the property of the US Gov if you die with any assets in the account (and again, hence the ability to roll it into a Roth IRA, which most will forget to do).


derek_vineyard's picture

how can the gubbermint get voluntary contributions if they dont crash the stock market?  

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

This is no more dangerous than jumping off a bridge.

Both are completely voluntary.

WHen it becomes compulsary, then you drama queens can start to worry...

Omegaman2211's picture

It is not the role of government to maintain a retirement account for it's citizens, voluntary or compulsory.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly, physical assets and PMs just keep getting better and better.  Wish I could find some 22LR however.

Mercuryquicksilver's picture

It's "like a Roth IRA" so no. Moreover, who's to say the government doesnt change their minds later on about withdrawal without penalty?

Encroaching Darkness's picture

>>> Moreover, who's to say the government doesnt change their minds later on about withdrawal without penalty?<<<

THIS is why we are stuck in the longest recession ever, the lowest savings rate ever, the worst labor force participation rate ever ...

We cannot trust the government. Not to be wise, not to be insightful, and especially not to keep any one plan going the way it started for more than five minutes. How do you plan for the future when the rules change on the hour?

SS was supposed to be a minimum level of support to prevent poverty among the elderly. It was only going to take a tiny percent of anyone's income, only open to those who contributed, only this and only that. Then when they wanted to buy votes later, it was expanded to include disability (for those who never contributed), the rate went up (and up and up), the wage cap went up (and up and up), the trust fund was raided to pay government bills, and so on. This will be no different.

Why would any thinking individual get anywhere near this, voluntary or not? It's time to roll the guillotines .

cynicalskeptic's picture

THIS is why we are stuck in the longest recession ever, the lowest savings rate ever, the worst labor force participation rate ever ...

Hell, you're penalized for SAVING.   Gov robs you twice - no real interest is paid on your savings because gov is giving trillions in free money to banks so they have no incentive to compete for YOUR measely savings AND the official Fed policy of inflation (Vastly underreported) means your money is worht less and less the longer you let it sit.   You'd have to be a fool NOT to convert any 'savings' into tangible assets that at least HOLD their value (It's what China is doing with their dollars) As for workforce participation....  Gov could change that IMMEDIATELY by putting restirictions on TARP  - require any recipient to repatriate JOBS they sent overseas (hell corporations have no problem with repatriating profits if they get a tax break... we've given them TRILLIONS so how about a quid pro quo?)   Wall Street and Banking sent all their data processing and call centers overseas a few decades ago.  They SHOULD have been required to bring those jobs back.  Instead they're now sending their accounting functions to India and elsewhere.    How about limiting 'FREE TRADE'?  No more shipping whole factories overseas.   Instead BOTH parties aer pushing for even worse job losses with TPP.  No sane nation willingly kills its own manufacturing base.  Insead of measuring PRODUSTION of goods made in the US we now measure our economy by CONSUMPTION of goods made elsewhere - and that consumption is declingin because without jobs people cannot afford to consume anything - even food.   Meanwhile the little the US DOES export - grain and such - is subsidized by US taxpayers - and worse.  With every bushel of grain sent overseas we send irreplaceable water drawn from US aquifers and all the oil used to run the equipment and produce the fertilizer and pesticides needed to grow it.  We are sentding oil and water overseas with every form of agricultural export. Government serves a very few - the wealthiest and most powerful - and will continue to do so until money is taken out of political campaigns and politicians are held accountable.  We now live in a form of crony capitalism where profits are not earned through better products or honest competition but by manipulating the playing field and using government to help you while squashing competition.
Georgia_Boy's picture

If you can withdraw contributions at will, who seriously thinks these hard-working, working class working workers will NOT blow up the accounts long before their retirement? No IRA can fix your retirement if you won't save.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

@smlbizman; you're right w/ this:

to hh.......let me know how francis is certainly will meet him with this one....

they/we all'll do.  eventually.  for pointing out the obvious. dont you criticize (or bite the hand of)  those that rule here. so much for the premise of fight club.

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

But SSI has been such a huge success.....what could possibly go wrong?


hedgeless_horseman's picture



Haven't seen you here for a while.  How is the greenhouse working out for you this winter?

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Good to hear from you HH.  We needed to focus on soil regeneration this Winter in our greenhouse; theres so much to learn.  We've some hot-beds going outside w/some leafy greens and roots's been a fine year for produce!

How are things in your neck of the woods?  Have you and Mrs HH picked up any new farming skills of late?




Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Well, you see: Social Security is full of I.O.U.s in the form of US Treasuries that must be paid off by the same taxpayer (and his kids and Grandkids) who "contributed" to SS, effectively paying twice for one retirement.

This, on the other hand, is going to be backed by U.S. Treasuries.

Anasteus's picture

Jack Lew and the Two Learned Elders busy with preparing the bright tomorrows for American retirees...

Mr. Magoo's picture

This propaganda  from Jack Lew sounds more like an excerpt from the Onion

johnQpublic's picture


25 to start, plus 5 a week for 30 years is, wait for it, 7825 plus interest, but since this wont exactly keep up with inflation, just call it even at 7800 in purchasing power when i'm retired


dontgoforit's picture

Does anyone believe anything this poser says now? 

Levadiakos's picture

And it's amazing how much he looks like a young Bob Dylan

LMAOLORI's picture



And how about the resemblance of Michelle with Jackie O 



Joe Davola's picture

Don't spend it all in one place.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



In 30 years, $7800 might get you 1/2 an ounce of gold.

tmosley's picture

You're nuts if you think it will buy you more than a packet of complimentary ketchup in 30 years.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

holy shit, I can get dividends paid in Ketchup? Sign me the fuck up!!

AGuy's picture

"In 30 years, $7800 might get you 1/2 an ounce of gold."

I think you meant in 30 Months, $7800 might get you half an ounce of gold.


Big Brother's picture

So clearly what you're telling me is, "you'll more than likely to get a better return on your investments, or at minimum preserve your labor if you purchase gold rather than treasuries through MyRA"?

Time for some objective, deductive reasoning:

If Obama really wanted what's best for the poor and middle class' interests, wouldn't he recommend buying gold?  And for a cherry on top, how's about he take it upon himself to remove the capital gains tax from the appreciation of gold thereof (since he's ready to do things without congress' approval).  At least he would provide an alternative to investing in this MyRA.  People like choices.  I realize the investment value could go down as gold's value relative to the dollar could drop, but at least there is no counter-party risk. With treasuries, one has the risk of default, the risk of true inflation exceeding the rate of return, taxable moments, non-transferrable for inheritance; and risk of "bail-ins" (ala cyprus and poland).

I am convinced that the risks of possessing a MyRA exceeds those of owning gold.  Either Obama "just doesn't get it" or he's being disengenious.  I believe he is being disengeious.

In light of my findings, I will not be signing up for this "MyRA".



Stuck on Zero's picture

Me thinks the best approach would be a self directed MyGold IRA.


WillyGroper's picture

>>>After all the cock-blocking they've done with env regs

Considering all this fracking is exempt from the clean water act, all other env regs are nothing but distraction & a deliberate hamstring of the little guy . 

We all need clean water. 

toady's picture

I know, right?

This one got me ;

"And the federal deficit has been cut by more than half."

Must be the new math...

quasimodo's picture

Too bad his hat wasnt' actually on fire. THAT would have been funnyt right there.

maskone909's picture

just a thought,

since retirement accounts are for the most part protected against bankruptcy,  why not take out huge loans and put them into the MyRA and file chapter 7?  you could just withdraw all the funds after your case is processed, correct?  tax free no penalties will cause alot of fraud and money laundering problems.